This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," May 18, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: The one and only governor of the great state of Pennsylvania — my favorite cheesesteak — my friend is Governor Rendell.
Welcome back, sir.
GOVERNOR ED RENDELL, D-PA.: Good evening, Sean. Those returns in Pennsylvania are probably weighted a little heavy in Philadelphia so by no means is Senator Specter out of woods yet.
HANNITY: Yes, well, then you were a big part — look, from the very beginning, you've been his biggest supporter. Let me go back and I want to drag the White House into this in this way.
When Arlen Specter switched parties the White House said that he had the president's full support. And you know, here it is, everybody knew that this was going to be a close primary. And President Obama flew over to Ohio, had a chance to go in this weekend, and didn't go in to help Arlen Specter, why not?
RENDELL: I can't explain their travel schedule. But I will say in defense, Sean, they did a terrific television ad for Arlen Specter that's been playing about 20 times a day everywhere in which the president says at the end, "I love Arlen Specter. Now I've run 14 times and I've been endorsed by a lot of people but nobody said they loved me," Sean. Nobody.
HANNITY: But wait a minute. I know but it's funny because I saw you on with Neil Cavuto earlier today and he said well, maybe nobody loves you, Governor, which I thought was a pretty —
RENDELL: It's possible. It's possible.
HANNITY: I love you, you bring me cheesesteak every time you come to New York.
All right, well, but it is — look, if they were going to offer their full support, don't you think the president should have come in to show that support?
RENDELL: Well, look, again, you know, in some places that support would have been helpful, in other places it might have been a disincentive, I mean, who knows. They poll, the White House polls, the Specter campaign polls.
I'm not close enough to say what that would be. Certainly if the president had come in he would have raised the enthusiasm level and turnout was key here. But again the president did a great ad, he did robo-calls, he did direct mail for Senator Specter.
RENDELL: There wasn't one Democrat that went to the polls, Sean, that didn't know that the president wanted them to vote for Senator Specter.
HANNITY: But there's a big difference. You know, maybe — look, his track record isn't that great. If I'm Arlen Specter I'm not sure —
HANNITY: I want him to come — Martha Coackley, Creigh Deeds —
RENDELL: Well, sure, he came in —
HANNITY: — and Jon Corzine had his support.
RENDELL: Right. And I think those late-in-the-campaign appearances are frankly overrated because by then most people have made up their mind.
HANNITY: All right.
RENDELL: It can help turn out a little bit.
HANNITY: Let's move to the Pennsylvania 12. We were discussing this with Governor Palin. Look, this is —
RENDELL: I heard you.
HANNITY: All right. Thirty-six years is a long time, this Murtha seat, 2-1 Democrats outnumber Republicans in that district. Latest polls had it a one-point race. The Democrat is running as a conservative. He's pro-life, he's pro Second Amendment.
Would have voted against the health care. Would have voted against cap-and-tax. And it's still a close race. Why?
RENDELL: Well, first of all, one thing you didn't say, Sean, I'm not sure you know but in 2004, that district went for John Kerry. But in 2008 it went for Senator McCain.
HANNITY: That's true.
RENDELL: It's one of the few districts in the country that flipped. So it's a Republican performing district even though the Democratic registration, number one. Number two, of course, Mr. Critz who ran a very good race, by the way, he was with Congressman Murtha, and again, more in the role of the incumbent than Mr. Burns.
So I think, look, there's no doubt there's an anti-incumbency. When Senator Bennett lost in Utah, someone who's been a good rock solid conservative and a good senator, it proves that the anti-incumbency is out there against everybody. Democrats and Republicans alike. And you saw what happened in Kentucky. That certainly was a slap in the face to the incumbent Republican establishment.
HANNITY: Well — well, maybe the establishment — maybe you have a point there, but I also think that Americans are responding completely, and it's a complete rejection of the direction that I think this administration and Congress is taking the country in.
I think a lot of people are concerned about record deficits, weakening of our national defense, all the issues we talk about on a regular basis but, you know, to run completely against the National Democratic Party agenda, I can't think of a single Democrat that is out there doing that, can you?
RENDELL: That's running from the agenda?
RENDELL: Well, look, when you say, for example, that Mark Critz is pro-gun and pro-life, any Democrat in that area is always pro-gun and pro- life. There's no question about that.
I had a tough time when I ran the first time in that area. I did better the second time when I ran for re-election. But those are stances you've got to take. Health care, you know, wasn't popular. I think you and I have discussed this, we disagree. I think it was misunderstood.
And cap-and-trade, everyone is worried about the economy. So I agree, cap-and-trade is not very popular.
HANNITY: All right. But the bottom line, as you even acknowledge, it's going to be a tough year for Democrats this year?
RENDELL: Not as bad as you expect, Sean. Not as bad — mark me down and we'll make another bet.
HANNITY: All right. We're going to bet. And this time it's — I want two cheesesteaks and I'll — and I'll give Ruth's Chris gift certificates for your military friends. Fair deal?
HANNITY: And I'm —
RENDELL: Fair deal as always.
HANNITY: All right.
RENDELL: You're the best conservative in the country.
HANNITY: Oh, I don't know if you said that with utter contempt or it's a compliment.
RENDELL: No, no. It's a very low bar, but you're the best conservative.
HANNITY: You're the best of the worst, Hannity. I don't know how to interpret. I'm going to take it in a good way.
All right, Governor, good to see you.
RENDELL: Take care, Sean.
HANNITY: Thanks — thanks for being with us.
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