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Hannity

Sen. DeMint Blasts Anti-Business Obama

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," August 8, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARK STEYN, GUEST HOST: For years, we've heard President Obama and Democrats alike blaming George W. Bush for all the worries of the world. But following Friday's credit rating downgrade, it seems the left has found a new scapegoat. The Tea Party. Let's take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID AXELROD, OBAMA CAMPAIGN ADVISOR: The fact of the matter is, that this is essentially a Tea Party downgrade. The Tea Party brought us to the brink of a default. It something that we should never have happened. And that clearly is on the backs of those who were willing to see the country default. That those very strident voices in the Tea Party.

HOWARD DEAN , D-FORMER VERMONT GOVERNOR: I happen to agree with David, I think this is a Tea Party problem. They are totally unreasonable and doctrinaire and not founded in reality. I think they've been smoking some of that tea, and I'm just drinking it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEYN: Smoking tea, I think it is a Vermont thing. Unlike the partisans you just heard from, a top official with S&P says, the White House and Congress are both to blame for the downgrade.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: This is really not about either political party. It is about the difficulty of all side in finding, you know, a consensus around fiscal policy choices. Now and in the future.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEYN: So, rather than point fingers at the Tea Party, perhaps Governor Dean and others should focus on the president's very own economic advisers who were asleep at the wheel as this crisis developed. Remember this?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PETER BARNES, FOX BUSINESS: Is there a risk that the United States could lose its AAA credit rating, yes or no?

TIM GEITHNER, TREASURY SECRETARY: No risk of that.

BARNES: No risk?

GEITHNER: No risk.

BARNES: So, Standard & Poor's is wrong, the United States will keep its AAA credit rating?

GEITHNER: Absolutely.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEYN: Got to love Timothy Geithner's crystal ball.

Joining me with reaction to all of this is South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint. Senator, there is something kind of unbecoming about this, isn't it? The first downgrade of the United States in 94 years. And instead, it is all about -- very unpersuasive political spin just blaming it on a bunch of Tea Party guys.

SEN. JIM DEMINT, R-S.C.: It seems, Mark, that everyone who disagrees with the president is a member of the Tea Party now. But you know and you've been predicting these kinds of things for years. Over 70 percent of Americans think we need to balance our budget. That's no small Tea Party group. That is a lot of common sense Americans who understand that we can't keep spending more than we are bringing in.

So, this is a bipartisan problem. But the solution that they came up with has made the problem even worse. It locks us in to another seven to $10 trillion in debt. And there's not enough credit in the whole world for us to borrow that much money. So, we are looking sometime over the next few months, or maybe few years, if we're lucky, we are going to come to the point where there is a real debt limit. Where we can't borrow any more money and that is going to be a serious time.

So, we are talking about serious things right now. And the president is trying to point fingers everywhere he can look and say that's a Tea Party guy behind that bush. I think this is really pitiful.

STEYN: Yes. You made the point, we are really beyond spin at this stage. I mean, the president of the United States is supposed to be addressing the world. And the world has reached a judgment on this idea that the United States should borrow another seven to $10 trillion before it starts tightening its bell.

DEMINT: Well, they know we can't. And the problem we have in America and you pointed this out is, we're not just another country, we are that center pole of the world's economy. And when people start losing confidence in our dollar, our ability to pay our bills, it sends shockwaves throughout the world. That's what we are starting to see today. The only way to solve this is to get control of the spending. And we had several plans in Congress to do this. One was "Cut, Cap and Balance." I mean, we passed a budget or at least all the Republicans voted on it in the Senate that would have balanced our budget over 10 years. That's what the market needs to see. Not that we get control of it this year or next year, but that we are committed to bring our budget into balance. And the president called me extreme for believing that. But I think when I'm in the company of over 70 percent of Americans, I feel like I'm in pretty good company.

STEYN: What is the message we are sending to the world here though, Senator? Because whatever you say about the Greeks and the Portuguese and the Spaniards and the rest of them, they are not sitting there negotiating plans to lower the rate of increase in spending by 2020. I mean, these guys on the whole like focused on this year and next year. And we're coming up with all this kind of fairy tale -- these fairy tale projections.

DEMINT: Well, these countries can print money, we can. The Federal Reserve has bought about 90 percent of our debt this year, Mark. I mean, that is out outright, I mean, that is frightening to think that we are printing that much money. Buying our own debt. And the rest of the world knows what we are doing and they are losing confidence in us. So, these other countries can't print money. They have to make the tough decisions. States can't print money. Forty nine of them have to balance their budgets. We need to balance our budget, Mark, that's the only solution to this is, if we are required by law, by the constitution to balance our budget, that's the only thing that's going to save America at this point.

STEYN: The president told the world today that as far as he's concerned, it is time for wealthier Americans to start paying their fair share. So, it's the same old message from him. What do you say to that?

DEMINT: Well, the people he is talking about, Mark. Those who make $200,000 or more, there's about three percent of Americans. They already pay over half of the taxes. The federal income taxes right now, they give a third to of all the charity contributions in our country. They provide 60 percent of the investment capital. And they create a lot of the new jobs because these are small businesses.

So, all the president wants to do is take money from the people who are creating jobs and give it to the people who created 14 trillion in debt. That doesn't make any sense to me. And the president is going to continue to hurt our economy with his Obamacare, his stimulus, his Dodd-Frank bill. If you were a small businessman and that's what I was before I came to Congress, you know that your taxes are going up, your cost of unemployment insurance is going up. Your health care is going up. Why risk it? Why create jobs? I can't imagine a more anti-business president than the one we've got right now.

STEYN: Yes. He's basically given us a kind of flat line economy and he stood up in front of the world and said, he had no intention of changing it today.

DEMINT: You are right. And you pointed out that we have copied Europe. I think we are to the left of Europe if we look at these policies. And America is that last bastion of freedom. We can turn things around and their plans that would do it. Just like the "Cut, Cap and Balance" plan. And we can do it without cutting benefits for seniors -- there's a way out of this, Mark. But there's not the president's way. What we're going to get from this super Congress they've created. That's another thing that should frighten Americans that they can expedite. I know it is going to be tax increases. I just don't know how bad.

STEYN: No. Senator, thanks very much. The super Congress, they're words to chill the heart.

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