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Hannity

Meg Whitman: 'We're Going to Win This'

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," October 31, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And Happy Halloween and welcome to the Sunday edition of "Hannity." And tonight we'll be checking in with candidates all around the country. You will be hearing from pollster, Frank Luntz. We also have a special Tea Party edition of our Media Mash segment. But first we go, with two days to go before the election, we take you to the state of California where the race for governor is tightening, the state's former governor and current Attorney General, Jerry Brown, is leading former e-Bay CEO, Meg Whitman, at the moment.

However, in the latest poll, Whitman has closed the gap and is now within the margin of error, trailing Brown by only four points and, as you can see, last week, Brown held a six point lead over Whitman.

So, can the GOP secure a major upset in the liberal stronghold of California? Now, here to help answer that question is the Republican candidate for governor, herself, former E-Bay CEO, Meg Whitman. And, by the way, we have extended an invitation to former Governor Jerry Brown to come on this program.

Alright, do you see this poll about right? Do your internal numbers have this poll, you know, where do you see it?

MEG WHITMAN, REPUBLICAN GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE, CALIFORNIA: Well, the race is tightening very fast. The Rasmussen poll, we were down three or four. Our internal poll show us at dead heat and, I tell you, if we're a dead heat on November 2nd and we win because of the enthusiasm around the country, so, I'm excited. We're going to win this.

HANNITY: And it's a tough state. I mean, Democrats outnumber Republicans in term of registration 13 to one so they've got a pretty -- a pretty big advantage going into this. Alright, let's go to one -- the latest ad that you have run, I think it's one of the best ads I've seen this election cycle and this is Jerry Brown in his own words:

(VIDEO CLIP)

FEMALE ANNOUNCER: After Jerry Brown was no longer governor, he finally came clean.

MALE ANNOUNCER: What did you lie about when you were governor?

JERRY BROWN, FORMER GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA: Well, it's all a lie. You -- you're pretending you have a plan.

MALE ANNOUNCER: What did you lie about?

BROWN: You run for office and the assumption is, "Oh, I know what to do." You don't. I didn't have a plan for California. You say you're going to lower taxes, you're going to put people to work, you're going to improve the schools, the schools -- you're going to stop crime, crime is up, schools are worse, taxes are higher. I mean, be real. I didn't have a plan for California. It's all a lie.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Wow. I mean first -- for any politician to say that is unbelievable.

WHITMAN: Well, it's very revealing and it's deeply cynical and Jerry Brown pulled the wool over California's eyes, you know, before and he's trying to do it again and we're not going to let him. I mean, it is just remarkable, you know, he doesn't have a plan, he said, basically, the whole thing was a lie. I mean, think about that for a minute. It's not fair to Californians and I think they're going to see through it.

HANNITY: Alright, one of the other things that came up in the last debate you had was the issue of, "What is a negative ad?" and you were criticized by some for saying that, you know what, you were going to tell the truth about Jerry Brown's record. Now, for example, if somebody runs an ad in a congressional race and they say, "Well, my opponent voted with Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama 99 percent of the time," and that's accurate, is that, by definition, a negative ad.

WHITMAN: Well, see, in my book it's not because Jerry Brown is running on his experience here in California. He was governor for eight years and he is running on that experience so we have to look at that experience and it was bad for California. Unemployment went up. Spending went up. But here's the ultimate jury on his -- on his tenure.

He was governor for eight years. He ran -- wanted to run for a new office, he wanted to be a U.S. senator. The voters who knew him the best, who had watched him up close and personal for those eight years, what did they say? They said, "No, we think you were a bad governor, we're not going to elect you to another office."

So, I don't think that's negative campaigning. I think that is, you know, someone's running on their experience. You have to examine it.

HANNITY: Alright. One of the other ads you're running in this -- in these final days, is you going directly to the voters of California. Let's roll that tape.

(VIDEO CLIP)

WHITMAN: I know many of you see this election as an unhappy choice, between a long-time politician with no plan for the future and a billionaire with no government experience. Well, let me tell you my story. My husband and I came here as newlyweds. We raised our family here and the California dream came true for me in ways I could never have imagined. Now, I'm running for governor to restore the California dream for everyone. I'm not a career politician or a Hollywood star. I'm from Silicon Valley where I created thousands of jobs at e-Bay. As governor, I'll do something that's been missing from California politics for far too long. I'll treat you like grown-ups, tell it to you straight, and offer a practical plan forward.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Now, one of the things people have been critical -- but, I mean, you've been successful throughout your entire business career. Sometimes if you're successful, become wealthy, that's become a pejorative, shockingly in America I've always thought that was the American dream and some have been somewhat critical that you've spent upwards of $160 million trying to get your message out. You say that's a positive. Why?

WHITMAN: Well, you know, I've got to give voters a choice in this election. The unions have spent, over the last three or four years, $300 million controlling politics in the state of California. So, I'm giving voters a choice, getting my message out, putting my mouth where my -- putting my money where my mouth is. So, you know, many people have said, you know, good -- Meg, this is a great thing to have done. I'm excited about it.

Everywhere I go, you know, we've done rallies over the last 48 hours, huge rallies, every rally someone comes up to me and says, "You know what, I'm an independent, I'm a Democrat, I've never voted for a Republican and I'm voting for you because we've got to get this state back on track." And, I think you're seeing that across the country.

HANNITY: Two issues that came up during the campaign that became big controversies, one is the comment by somebody on Jerry Brown's staff that used the term "whore" describing you. Are you (a) surprised that didn't become a bigger issue in the campaign and, recently, you thought that your former housekeeper, Nicky Diaz, should be deported, even though at the time you didn't report her. Do you have an update on that?

WHITMAN: Well, you know, it's a -- politics is a rough and tumble business and Jerry Brown has run a campaign of smears and personal attacks. You know, back in June in a secret meeting that was caught on tape, he said to the unions in California, "You do the dirty work. I want to stay above the fray." And, starting in September, that wasn't working so he got into the fray and started, you know, politics of smear and all kinds of things. So, you know what, we're going to get there, talking about the messages.

You know, people are more interested in talking about how they're going to stay in their house than my housekeeper and I think that's what this election will turn on. Ultimately, people care about their job, will they have a job, will their son or daughter have a job, will they be able to meet their family obligations? And, the number one issue here, Sean, as it must be across the country, is the economy and jobs and how in the world are we going to get out of this recession? Because it seems to be pretty well flat-lined here in California.

HANNITY: Alright, let me give you a chance, Jerry Brown wouldn't come on the program, what a shock. But, he is running a campaign, trying to compare you to Arnold Schwarzenegger and I wanted to give you a chance to respond.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CALIFORNIA ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, R-CALIF.: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

WHITMAN: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and hoping for different results.

SCHWARZENEGGER: I built businesses.

WHITMAN: I built a business.

SCHWARZENEGGER: Met the payroll.

WHITMAN: Met a payroll.

SCHWARZENEGGER: I entered this office beholden to no one except you.

WHITMAN: I will owe my office to no one but you.

SCHWARZENEGGER: I don't owe anyone anything.

WHITMAN: I don't owe anyone anything.

SCHWARZENEGGER: We need to run the state as a business.

WHITMAN: Running this thing a little bit more like a business.

GRAPHIC: Sensing a pattern?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Why did I think after 40 years in public office he could probably add his comments to that as well or, you know, you could certainly do an update on that.

WHITMAN: Well, I have to laugh because Arnold had a great quip. He said, "I delivered my lines better than she did."

(LAUGHTER)

WHITMAN: But, you know what, the reason that we said the same things, is that what's California actually needs. We do need more jobs. We do need a different approach. We do need to get people back to work.

But, Arnold and I have a very different background. I have run very large organizations. I know how to use technology to get more done. I know how to bring people together and my experience is perfectly suited to this time in California's history where jobs is the number one issue and Jerry Brown has been part of the war on jobs in California for 40 years.

He has no new ideas. He is beholden to the public employee unions. He is often quoted by saying there'll be a meeting in Sacramento after he is governor. There will be a meeting. It will be a meeting of all the union bosses who will come together wanting to collect their IOUs for having financed Jerry Brown's whole campaign.

HANNITY: Meg Whitman, we're going to watch California very closely on election night. Thanks for being with us.

WHITMAN: Thanks a lot Sean. Good to see you.

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