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Hannity

Candidates Come Out Swinging in Final Round of Attack Ads

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," October 7, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: You don't need to look at a calendar to know that we are inching closer and closer to the 2010 midterms. All you have to do is turn on your TV because in recent weeks political ads have consumed the airways. Now they've gotten louder, they've gotten more direct, and in some cases, they have gotten a whole lot more vicious.

And tonight we are going to analyze the impact that some of these ads could have on Election Day. And joining me now in studio to do just that is the former governor of the great state of Arkansas, the host of "Huckabee" right here on the Fox News Channel, Governor Mike Huckabee.

Governor, good to see you.

MIKE HUCKABEE, FORMER ARKANSAS GOVERNOR: Great to see you, Sean.

HANNITY: Welcome to the Imus studio.

(LAUGHTER)

HUCKABEE: Well, it's not bad.

HANNITY: No, it's not. Imus has good digs here.

All right. Let's start with Michele Bachmann.

HUCKABEE: Right.

HANNITY: Her opponent basically saying she hasn't done bleep -- can you imagine a candidate doing this -- for her district. Let's roll the tape.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No one does more for the special interest in Washington than Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. She stood up for BP when no one else would. She has a 100 percent voting record when it comes to supporting Wall Street. She even stood with the big insurance companies and voted against reform.

Michele Bachmann, not doing (EXPLETIVE DELETED) for the people of the 6th district, but doing more than her share for the special interests in Washington.

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Now first of all, I just don't think that kind of ad helps. You know? So it's one of these "what were you thinking" moments.

HUCKABEE: This is the genius of some political ad consultant who thought it would really be cute. I think the way that Michele Bachmann ought to respond to it is to do an ad and say, why don't you define what bleep is? Tell us what you mean. Because here's what I have done for Minnesota and list it.

If you think these things are bleep, then you've got a problem. That's how I would respond to it if it were me.

HANNITY: That would be really -- that would be a good --

HUCKABEE: And that's free advice for Michele Bachmann.

HANNITY: I also -- you're not selling that advice?

HUCKABEE: No.

HANNITY: You can get a good price for it. I always think you should respond to attacks. Let -- which by the way is the opposite of how I live my life. I let everybody attack me and I could care less.

HUCKABEE: Well, as a candidate you can let them go unchallenged because people think they're true. The problem is when a candidate doesn't have enough money to be able to respond.

But Dick Morris taught me an important lesson when he was my political consultant back in the early '90s. That the punch is not nearly as effective as the counterpunch. You never want to draw the first blood. You want your opponent to come after you, draw your blood and then you have a free shot to go after him.

HANNITY: That is such good advice.

HUCKABEE: Counter punching is far more effective than punching.

HANNITY: All right. We got a Harry Reid web ad claiming that Sharron Angle's -- talking about Sharron Angle's crazy juice. Watch this one.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You've heard about Sharron Angle's extreme juice in Washington.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've got juice.

KEITH OLBERMANN, HOST, "COUNTDOWN": Juice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Juice.

LAWRENCE O'DONNELL, HOST, "THE LAST WORD": Juice.

OLBERMANN: I have juice with DeMint.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Political juice.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now it can be yours. Introducing Sharron Angle's crazy juice. Made with real DeMint. It will rev you up for Second Amendment remedies before militia practice. All our crazy juice were made with non-fluorinated water so you know it's safe from socialism.

So, so, so, so extreme. Coming soon in new lemonade.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel totally nuts.

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: All right. I would say humor would normally work. But -- following your advice earlier to Michele Bachmann, how about this as the perfect response? Go after -- talk about crazy juice, Harry Reid, the war is lost.

HUCKABEE: Yes.

HANNITY: The surge has failed. His attack against Tea Party people. I think that would be a perfect counter.

HUCKABEE: Always turn their ad back on to them. So if you're going to be accused of being crazy, list the things that your opponent has been for -- Obamacare, stimulus, bailing out car companies and insurance companies, and say, you know, if that's smart, I'd rather be crazy.

I mean there's a lot of ways to attack that.

HANNITY: Great line.

HUCKABEE: I think humor ads are terrific. I think sometimes that you can say things with humor that you would never get away with if you said as if you're angry and mean. But the thing, if you are the recipient of one of those, turn it around and you often --

HANNITY: And do it quickly.

HUCKABEE: Do it very quickly.

HANNITY: Within 48 hours?

HUCKABEE: Absolutely.

HANNITY: All right. We have Allen West challenging both his opponent in Florida and Barack Obama to a debate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE ALLEN WEST, R-FLA.: Welcome to South Florida, Mr. President. You and Ron Klein should leave that close-door, high roller fundraiser and drive by our shuttered businesses and foreclosed homes.

I'll go anywhere you wish to debate your failed big government policies. Heck, I'll even debate you and Clyde together if that's what it takes.

The people of South Florida deserve a chance to tell you what will work here to improve our economy. If you don't listen now, the voters will speak loudly in November.

I'm Allen West and I approve this message.

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: I think that is a great ad.

HUCKABEE: I think it's a very well done ad. Part of it is because he is a very articulate person on camera. He sounds convincing. And he doesn't sound like he's reading it off a prompter even though he may have been.

It was a very effective ad because he basically said, Mr. Obama, you came here, you drove past the foreclosed homes, you ignored what really we care about, and you came down here and took money out of a few pockets.

I thought it was a very powerful ad in light of the Florida --

HANNITY: Yes. But I agree. You have to be as good before the camera as Colonel West is.

HUCKABEE: Yes.

HANNITY: And I think he did a very effective job.

All right, the Sharron Angle ad, as we head back to Nevada, I think is probably the template that I think every candidate can use against Democrats. And here's her ad against Harry Reid.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SENATE CANDIDATE SHARRON ANGLE, R-NEV.: I'm Sharron Angle and I approve this message.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Want to know just how out of touch Harry Reid is? Spending 787 billion on a stimulus that failed is a start. Or Reid voted to give illegal aliens special tax breaks and Social Security benefits is another big clue. But here's the kicker. Reid actually voted to use taxpayer dollars to pay for Viagra for convicted child molesters and sex offenders. What else could you ever need to know about Harry Reid?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: I think holding people accountable for their votes is very effective.

HUCKABEE: It is. Now, in fairness to Harry Reid and you'll find this rare. A vote like that when you say he voted to give Viagra --

HANNITY: It's in the bill.

HUCKABEE: That's the point. Some of these bills have all these little provisions. He may be unaware that was in the bill.

HANNITY: Well maybe he should read the bill.

HUCKABEE: He should read the bill. I understand, but this is a classic example -- it's good politics. It's great politics, but it's one of those instances where it sounds like he said yes, there's a bill that is going to provide Viagra and that was the primary purpose of the bill.

HANNITY: No, but if it's in the bill and he didn't read it, I think isn't that fair game?

HUCKABEE: Absolutely, it's not unlike when Republicans attack Democrats for their support of the National Endowment for the Arts and they were sponsoring stuff like Andrew Serrano's famous Christ in the urine jar, hideous stuff like that.

But it doesn't always work. I tell you what always has to happen. The spot has to be believable. If you say he spent $787 billion, that's believable because you know he did it. This ad, you have to make sure that the voters believe that he really, really did that. That's the tough part.

HANNITY: All right, good to see you Governor Huckabee.

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