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Hannity

Deals for Democrats' Health Care Votes?

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," March 15, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: From the cornhusker kickback to the Louisiana Purchase, Democrats seem to be stopping at nothing to twist arms and get their health care votes. And as we end this very critical week House Democrats still appear to be short of the magic number of 216.

Now a handful of Democrats still appear to be undecided. So starting tonight we're going to let you know who they are.

Now first is Congressman Scott Murphy from New York. Now he told an upstate newspaper over the weekend that he's concerned about the price of the bill and what it would do to people's health care costs.

Well, Congressman, don't take our word for it, just listen to your own Senator Dick Durbin and I think the choice is clear.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SENATOR DICK DURBIN, D-ILL.: Anyone who would stand before you and say well, if you pass health care reform, next year's health care premiums are going down, I don't think is telling the truth. I think it is likely they will go up but what we're trying to do is slow the rate of increase.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Now Congresswoman Kathy Dahlkemper from Pennsylvania is also on the fence but maybe all she needs to do is look at the most recent polling from her home state where 52 percent of Pennsylvania voters in the Quinnipiac Poll say they are opposed to the president's health care plan.

And Congressman Jason Altmire just down the road in the Pittsburgh suburbs, well, he's also on the fence. Although he told me last summer that he had serious concerns about health care reform.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CONGRESSMAN JASON ALTMIRE, D-PENN.: This has to be about bringing down the cost of health care for families, for businesses and certainly for every level of government.

We're on an unsustainable growth path and the bill I had to vote on in the House did not do anything about that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Now if the Democratic leadership has something up their sleeve to steal his vote I think maybe the congressman will earn the nickname "The Pittsburgh Pirate" for his successful hijacking of the will of the voters of the great state of Pennsylvania.

And finally, Congressman James Oberstar of Minnesota is also publicly uncommitted. Although the word is that he might end up supporting the bill. Now he's also the chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and is pushing for more stimulus dollars to quote, "create jobs."

So if he votes for health care, and then at the last minute we happen to see a story about more and more money going to bridges and highways, then Oberstar will have named — gotten the nickname "Golden Gopher" because of his digging for dollars.

And we'll be watching, Congressman, so stay tuned.

And joining me now with more is Indiana Republican Congressman Mike Pence, tonight.

• Watch Sean's interview

Congressman, how are you?

CONGRESSMAN MIKE PENCE, R-IND.: I'm good. Just fresh back from the Hoosier state. We did five town hall meetings, a huge rally in Indianapolis today. And I got to tell you, from heartland Indiana, there is overwhelming opposition to this government takeover of health care.

HANNITY: Well, what do you know, what do you see in terms of coming into Congress calls? Because, you know what, people are asking me every day. Where does this congressman stand? That congressman.

We actually just put it up on my Web site. And it's changing almost hourly because — for example, Altmire, Jason Altmire just mentioned his office after hearing my radio show today said no, no, no, we're not over there. We're over in this category where we are probably more in the middle.

They are afraid, obviously must be getting a lot of push-back.

PENCE: Yes, I think they are. You know the people that I met with in — out across Indiana and then today at the state house in Indianapolis, if they expressed one frustration it's what — is that they were getting a busy signal.

I think an awful lot of Americans particularly in the key states and your viewers ought to know that list that you're producing is enormously helpful. But if they want the shorthand version this issue is probably going to be resolved mostly in Pennsylvania, Ohio and my beloved Indiana.

Those three states — the congressional delegations from those three states need to be hearing from people. E-mails are the surest way to get through but working the phones. People are doing it, Sean. And I really do believe the Democrats at this hour don't have the votes.

The American people are expressing themselves. I think they're going to continue to mount up an opposition to this government takeover of health care. And I'm hopeful, I'm hopeful that we're going to turn this thing back, scrap the bill and be able to start over with legislation that will focus on reducing the cost of health insurance rather than growing the size of government.

HANNITY: Well, I guess that's why speaking of Ohio Dennis Kucinich got a ride in Air Force One today. And I don't know that the president was offering you a ride to Indiana any time soon.

(LAUGHTER)

HANNITY: You know we've got Bob Beckel coming up in our Great American Panel.

PENCE: Not anytime soon.

HANNITY: Probably not. I don't think I'll be there either.

But Bob Beckel makes a point, coming on the program, he goes Hannity, you don't understand it. Because if they need three votes they are going to get the three votes. They're going to do whatever they have to do.

And he's predicting this thing is going to pass, which makes me nervous because he's a pretty well connected guy in Washington, D.C.

PENCE: Yes. Yes.

HANNITY: So you've got to admit then if you get called to the oval office and they offer you all sorts of money and they twist your arm it's kind of hard to resist unless you've got some strong character.

PENCE: Yes, that's right. And I did — I saw a press report tonight that the trading window was closed, if you will. We're going to — you know, we ought to be finding out what backroom deals beyond what we already know about have been made to try and push this through.

But I've got to tell you, you know, I love to tell people a minority in Congress plus the American people equals a majority.

I have a lot of respect for Bob and under ordinary circumstances he's right. You know you got three votes to go, it's like being on a three-yard line you can probably, you know, do a quarterback keep and go up the middle. But this is really different.

I got to tell you. If members of Congress went home this weekend, especially across the Midwest, and saw a fraction of what I saw, there's an awful lot of Democrats who got off the plane today and were having second thoughts. And we're hearing some words that Democrats that were on the bubble are now sliding into the no category.

HANNITY: Yes.

PENCE: So you know I really do believe the American people are in charge here. Democrats — rank and file Democrats know that and the more folks can continue to articulate that the more we have a shot at scrapping this bill and starting over with legislation right away that will focus on cost.

HANNITY: What did you think of Bart Stupak's comments that we read from National Review in his interview with them?

PENCE: Well, I just really think it's appalling. I — you know, Bart's a lot more liberal than I'll ever live to be. But I really admire the way Bart Stupak and other pro life Democrats stood firm in the House of Representatives.

They worked with Republicans to get some strong pro-life protections. And then they agreed to go along with passing this massive version of Obama-care out of the House. And now I can't imagine how much they feel like they've been rolled here. But the fact that he's dug in, he's hanging tough against what I know is withering amount of pressure from his leadership in the White House, I think Bart Stupak is to be commended.

HANNITY: We got to go. If we stop it this week, is it dead?

PENCE: If we stop it this week I think the government takeover of health care is dead. But we've got to keep working on health care reform that focuses on lowering the cost of health insurance. But we don't have to grow the size of government to do that.

HANNITY: All right, Mike Pence, thanks for being with us.

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