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Hannity

Rove: Rangel Drama Not Good for Democrats in November

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," July 29, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: So with only 96 days remaining until the 2010 midterm elections one of the most powerful Democrats in Congress has been charged with 13 counts of ethics violations.

Now the charges filed against New York Congressman Charlie Rangel were outlined at a House Ethics Committee hearing this afternoon on Capitol Hill. And according to Congressman Jo Bonner, all of this could have been avoided if Congressman Rangel owned up to his unlawful conduct.

Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CONGRESSMAN JO BONNER , R-ALA.: Mr. Rangel was given multiple opportunities to settle this matter. Instead, he chose to move forward into this public trial phase.

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Now Rangel chose not to attend that hearing. But our cameras did catch up with him just moments before the proceedings began. Let's take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CONGRESSMAN CHARLIE RANGEL, D-N.Y.: Sixty years ago I survived a Chinese attack in North Korea. And as a result, I wrote a book that having survived that, that I haven't had a bad day since. Today I have to reassess that statement.

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: All right, not a great day to be Charlie Rangel. And we also heard from the Republican leader in the House who had strong words for Nancy Pelosi. Let's look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CONGRESSMAN JOHN BOEHNER, R-OHIO, HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: This is a sad moment for our institution. And this isn't about Charlie Rangel. This is about Speaker Pelosi's most glaring promise that she's broken when she said in '06 that it's time to drain the swamp.

I think Speaker Pelosi owes the American people some answers to their questions.

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: All right, so how will all of this impact the November elections? Here with analysis is former senior adviser to President George W. Bush, Fox News contributor, the one and only Karl Rove.

Karl, welcome back.

KARL ROVE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you, Sean.

HANNITY: I guess — I guess that swamp has not been drained yet?

ROVE: No. And look, these were very serious charges. I mean, 13 different counts. He didn't pay income taxes for eight years on income that he had from his — from his Dominican Republic villa, or reported — didn't report hundreds of thousands of dollars on his congressional disclosure forms.

These are these — you know, these are not just sort of minor omissions. These are year after year after year. You know, accepting a million dollar contribution from a corporate official while sponsoring a tax break that would benefit a particular company, that particular company.

This is pretty dreadful. And — and he's not the only one. I mean remember, we had the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, John Conyers, whose wife, a city council member in Detroit, pled guilty to bribery.

I mean, you know, the Democrats have got some high-profile figures who've got some suspicious backgrounds.

HANNITY: First of all, if you're a Democrat — he had this opportunity to cut himself a deal and — and, you know, eliminate these problems with the Democratic Party. But he's been very, very defiant in spite of now some Democrats now pulling back from him. Even New York Democrats are pulling back from him.

Apparently this is all going to go on trial whether he wants to cut a deal or not. That deal is not going to be cut and that's going to happen in September heading into the midterms. So what impact does it have on the election?

ROVE: Yes. Well, not good. And look, we don't know what kind of offer was made by the House Ethics Committee. We don't know what kind of offer was tendered by Rangel's lawyers. We really are in the preliminary stages. There's probably some high-stakes negotiations going on back and forth here. There's no guarantee a trial will happen.

But the public phase has begun today. And somebody is going to be playing chicken and maybe blink. And we'll see what happens then.

But it's got to — if this happens in September, this is not good for Democrats. It chews up space they would like to be devoting to other issues, and highlights what people think about Congress which is it's led by a bunch of people who think one set of rules apply to them and one set of rules apply to the rest of the American people.

HANNITY: Democrats have been trying to advance the narrative that this is an anti-incumbency mood in the country. Isn't it more anti-Pelosi, Reid and Obama? Are they — are they able to get away with that argument?

ROVE: No, they can never — look. Think about all the arguments that they've been offering. This is one of the latest, this is going to damage Republicans in the general election because of the anti-incumbent.

Look. I had a debate with Howard Dean in which he sort of advanced at it. I said Howard, I'll give you 3-1, I bet there are three times as many Democrat incumbents who get beaten as Republicans. And how about $1,000 to the Generals College Fund — scholarship fund to the college we were debating at.

He refused to take it. I said well, how about 4-1? How about four Democrats for every one Republican?

Look, there are going to be like 10 Democrat incumbents defeated for every one Republican who's lost in the primary and a very few are going to lose in the general election.

I mean this is going to be anti-the party in power and the party that is in power, the Democrats who run the House, the Senate and the White House.

HANNITY: What do you think about — the president was on "The View" as we've discussing tonight here. And, you know, one of the comments I know that you focused in on is the idea that the president said well, we've got to stop this nonstop campaigning.

ROVE: Right. Right.

HANNITY: And you have a little issue to take with that?

ROVE: Well, first of all, he was in New York for what reason? In order to do a series of high-dollar fundraisers with a bunch of Tony Upper Eastside crowd, you know, $30,000 a pop.

I mean, please, Mr. President.

Not only that, but I looked at his schedule. Starting on August 2nd through August 18th, a 16-period day — 16-day period, he's going to do 10 fundraisers in eight states. I mean he's been flying Air Force One, they're scooping up every dollar he can scoop up. Thank god the high-tech graphics department was able to prepare that.

But what kind of hypocrite is he? I mean, you're lecturing us from "The View." Talk about hardball questions. So I had — had a lot of sympathy with him because every time he made a misstatement there is somebody quick to challenge him and jump on him. I mean it was really remarkably tough performance by all the people there on "The View."

HANNITY: Well, as —

ROVE: I'm kidding, of course. I'm kidding, of course.

HANNITY: Well, no, we just had Elisabeth Hasselbeck. I loved her question about —

ROVE: She —

HANNITY: The changing standard. You know all of a sudden it's —

ROVE: Yes.

HANNITY: — jobs created. For every other president except this one. Well, how many jobs will be saved?

ROVE: Yes.

HANNITY: And his answer was, well, all those people whose jobs we saved, Elisabeth, are going to be happy. And I'm sitting there, thinking, OK, what about the people that lost all those four million jobs?

ROVE: Right. Well, and not only that but look. Any — no serious economist says there is a quantifiable standard by which you can say a job is saved. And I would tell you this. President Obama himself doesn't — isn't able to defend that. You go to Recovery.gov, the official website of the Recovery Effort, the stimulus bill, and you'll find that they don't even try and track how many jobs have been, quote, "saved."

What they've got up there is a very precise number like 658,000 some odd of jobs funded and you go look at those jobs and they're funding a bunch of government jobs. I love that the president today — we saved all those jobs of teachers, firemen, the policemen. Otherwise, it would have been — had to fire. I look at those, those are daycare workers, state and local government employees. I mean the idea that somehow this saved a lot of policemen and firemen, that's not what local communities would cut first. They'd cut the fat, not the muscle.

HANNITY: But the best is when he went to Holland, Michigan and he goes, where they're making these electric car batteries. And they funded that company to the tune of $151 million. They hired 300 people, and so that's $500,000 per job that the government paid.

I can hire a lot more people at $60,000 a year with that kind of money.

All right, I have a last question, though, for you. Democrats are now fighting each other over — you know, Steny Hoyer, "I never said we're going to drain the swamp." They got the White House arguing with House Democrats over the issue of whether or not they can lose the House of Representatives.

Now you got some Democrats threatening to break away. They do not support repealing the Bush tax cuts.

So, here's question: Karl Rove, we've been asking you for a long period of time — have you hit the magic number where you think, as you examine every district where Republicans will take back — look I see that smile — if Republicans will take back the House, where are you tonight, Mr. Rove?

ROVE: Look, it's sad. You were the guy who got up at 3:00 a.m. in order to see what Santa brought you under the tree. You're the guy who — you know, you're the guy who got out there the day before to watch for the Easter bunny.

Look, let's be careful. Look, all this fighting among Democrats is interesting from a tactical perspective. It denies them any chance to say something good. But what's really problematic for them, is all the arguments they're laying out there, everything is copasetic. "We did all the right things. These policies are good, you just don't know it." All those things are not going to sell well for Democrats this fall. That's the big — the big problem they face.

HANNITY: So, what's the number?

ROVE: I'm still at 35 in the House, and seven or eight in the Senate. But I may be inching up in a couple of weeks in the House. You just wait and watch. But you got to control this. This is really going to — we got 97 days left to go. How bad are you going to be? How bad are you going to be?

HANNITY: I just — I want to know where Rove is.

And, by the way, for the record, I knew my Christmas gifts weeks before Christmas got there. I didn't wait until the night before.

ROVE: Sad. Really sad, Sean. That is really sad.

HANNITY: It drove Mr. And Mrs. Hannity nuts, trust me.

Karl Rove, thanks for being with us.

ROVE: You bet.

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