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Hannity

Winners and Losers in Health Care Battle

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: We are reaching the end of the road on health care reform. So it's time to ask, regardless of whether this bill is signed into law, who are the winners and losers in this process?

Now tonight we announce some of them. Now, first the winners.

Now for keeping the House Republicans united against the bill, Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor. The Republican whip is a clear winner in this health care debate, reminding lawmakers all around the country that they serve us and not vice versa.

Now, we also have the Tea Party movement. This is a bottom-up movement. They come out on top and, frankly, they get the gold prize.

Also, for making themselves a force to be reckoned with in the Democratic Party and for being a voice of sensibility in the Democratic Party -- and there's a big if -- the Blue Dog Democrats will come out on top, if -- if, if -- they show up in the end.

Now for the losers, almost too many to count, but tonight we'll limit ourselves to the biggest losers, those who have lost the most in the past few months.

Now, for pushing a government option that the public hates, almost, you know, 70 percent of them, and even having a Democratic-controlled Congress that couldn't get it through, yes, the San Francisco Speaker, "Princess" Pelosi, she's the biggest loser in this.

And by the way, we cannot overlook her Senate counterpart, that of course, "Prince" Harry Reid. And he couldn't even manage to seal the deal on the health care bill with a filibuster-proof majority. Guys, the clock ran out on that one.

And finally, for pressuring the Democrats to support drastic measures that were bound to fail, the liberal blogs, the Daily "Kooks" among them.

• Watch Sean's interview

And joining us now, with analysis of all this, from the Wall Street Journal, author of "How the Obama Administration Threatens to Undermine Elections," John Fund, and former Pennsylvania senator, Fox News contributor, Rick Santorum with us who just got back.

When were you in Iowa?

RICK SANTORUM, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Tuesday, Wednesday last week.

HANNITY: Just decided to go to Iowa? Going to New Hampshire next week?

SANTORUM: New Hampshire in a couple of weeks.

HANNITY: The same answers Newt gives.

All right, I'm not even going to go there.

First of all, your assessment, because we were talking during the break here. You think it's 50/50. You are not optimistic this is going to be stopped?

SANTORUM: Look, if you have a 40-seat majority, and if don't have 40 members who have announced prior to the vote that they'll vote no, it will pass. If you have anybody who's still in play who's not a no -- so the number to look at right now is how many people -- how many publicly, Democrats, have publicly said they're going to vote no. When that number reaches 40, you win. If it doesn't reach 40, you're going to lose.

JOHN FUND, AUTHOR, "HOW THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION THREATENS TO UNDERMINE ELECTIONS": Sean, there's something different about this bill. Most bills, the speaker can offer carrots and use also sticks to get votes.

This bill didn't have a conference committee. They'd have to vote, the House members, on the Senate bill with no changes. There are no carrots to give out, only sticks.

And Congressman Adler from New Jersey said he might be a yes vote today. He even had his rabbi lobby him in favor of the bill, so he moved to yes. Within hours, he thought better of it. He's now a no vote.

I think the people as soon, as they -- they're following this so closely. As soon as they hear someone is moving to yes, they pound on them. If this happens all week, she may get up to 210, 212, but I don't think she's going to get up to 216 easily.

HANNITY: Well, it's interesting. I was on my radio show today, talking about Jason Altmire, and I got his position wrong and thinking that he had moved into the yes column.

SANTORUM: He's been talking about moving to the yes column.

HANNITY: Well, he has been, and I said so. It's exactly what I said. And James Clyburn, I think, had even mentioned it. So Clyburn mentions it.

SANTORUM: That's the rumor in Pittsburgh, for sure.

HANNITY: So all of sudden his office is calling my office, freaking out, saying, "We didn't go there yet."

FUND: Yet.

HANNITY: But obviously, they're nervous. They're hearing from the public. It's making them nervous. So basically, these congressmen are going to come down to listening to constituents or their friends in Washington.

SANTORUM: No, absolutely. As I suggested to you. I was -- if I was a talk show host, I'd be saying Democrats call.

Barack Obama is focused right now running around the country, trying to get Democrats energized and trying to tell Democratic congressmen, look the Republicans, you're not going to win them anyway. Just focus on your base, focus on independents, and you'll win your elections. And that's what they're doing.

And if Democrats and independents start calling their member -- their Democratic member of Congress and saying, "We are against it," that is going to turn the tide.

HANNITY: What do you think?

FUND: First of all, if she doesn't have the votes I don't think she's going to go the floor. I think they'll come on Saturday. If they don't have the votes, or they're not within one or two, they will pull it off the floor. She cannot afford to lose a floor vote, because the last time that happened in 1994, Santorum, you were there. They lost the -- they lost the crime (ph) rule and that meant the end of the Democratic majority, if you can't even win a floor vote with a big majority. So it's either going to be a vote yes or no vote at all.

HANNITY: All right. But the reason -- the reason we haven't had the vote is because they don't have the votes. Right now, as of this second, they don't have the votes.

SANTORUM: That's right.

FUND: And I think she has to know she'll have the votes. Because when you go to the floor, anything can happen. Because people can turn around and change their vote at the last minute.

HANNITY: Yes, but don't they pull out a few ace in the holes? Now look, you can stand back, be the last person to vote, but if I need you, I need -- I need an ironclad promise.

SANTORUM: That's why the 40 no votes publicly is so important. And what...

HANNITY: What are we up to now?

SANTORUM: Twenty one, I guess, is the last I saw.

FUND: The best guess is there are about 26 solid no votes. There are about 35 or 36 leaning no votes. So it's still very tight.

HANNITY: You're more optimistic than you are. You think -- you really think this is going to pass?

SANTORUM: I just think that, you know, the speaker has tools. You say they don't have any carrots. They have carrots other than legislative carrots they can give.

HANNITY: Well, and...

FUND: It's corruption, though. The carrots are Obama has promised to make presidential visits at big money fundraisers, and the people who vote yes go to the top of the list. This is bribery!

HANNITY: Yes, but there's more than that. I'd love to have the Washington Times call it Obama's sick obsession. But look, did -- Creed Deeds, did it do him any good in Virginia? Did it do Jon Corzine any good? Did it do Martha Coakley any good in Massachusetts? Obama's appearance is almost the kiss of death. That would be like me showing up for you.

FUND: That's why he showed up in Ohio and the Democratic candidate for Senate and governor weren't there.

HANNITY: No, I showed up for him. That's why he lost.

SANTORUM: Look what happened to me.

HANNITY: A lot of good I did you.

SANTORUM: Here I am on your show, so it did turn -- it turned out all right.

HANNITY: It turned out good in the end. But that was my plan all along.

SANTORUM: The bottom line is, I agree with John in this. I think she has the tools to get the votes. The American public is the big question. Can they and will they speak up?

HANNITY: How much bribery -- how much bribery and corruption is going on right now that the American people don't know about?

SANTORUM: I mean, they're promising everything. This is -- the difference is everything. Jobs, jobs for friends, jobs for relatives, I mean, you name it.

FUND: The difference is, remember Pelosi herself said today, quote, "Nobody wants to vote for the Senate bill," unquote. They have to use subterfuge, the slaughter in which they pretend to vote for the rule, but it's actually for the whole bill.

I believe the American people through the Internet, and through shows like this, and through talk radio are better informed, faster informed than they've ever been. I think these kind of deals caused the Senate bill to become very unpopular. Remember when people learned about the Cornhusker Kickback? All of those deals are still in the bill they're voting on.

HANNITY: But it was interesting. It was last week the president tried to take them out, and they wouldn't take them out.

FUND: He said, "OK, we'll take out some of the deals if they involve one state." But he took everything else. He reversed himself. First he said, "We'll have an up or down vote." We're not going to get an up or down vote; we're going to get a vote on the rule.

Then he said, "We're going to have no deals." There are deals.

HANNITY: All right, guys. Good to see you. Thanks. Sorry I didn't help you.

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