This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," August 15, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And my next guest was a Tea Party favorite during the 2010 midterm election and experienced firsthand the vicious attacks of the mainstream media.
While Christine O'Donnell was unsuccessful in defeating Chris Coons in the Senate race that year, she is still fighting for the Tea Party principles. She explains why her brand new book "Troublemaker, What It Takes to Make America Great Again." Christine O'Donnell, good to see you. Welcome back. How are you?
CHRISTINE O'DONNELL, "TROUBLEMAKER" AUTHOR: Thank you.
HANNITY: It is not easy to put your neck out there and get beaten up, that is not fun.
O'DONNELL: No, it is not. But more troublemakers need to step up and put their name in the ballots and challenge the status quo if we are going to get our country back. That's what I hope this book does, I talk about the stories and everything I had to fight against since I made the decision to run. How the establishment will not always welcome you with open arms.
HANNITY: Look, I've experienced, during the last debate for example, over the debt ceiling, I didn't like -- I like "Cut, Cap and Balance," I like the Ryan plan. When I agreed with the Republicans, fine I didn't like the compromise deal.
Then all of a sudden, well I'm like, I'm sorry I wrote a book conservative victory. I didn't write a book Republican victory. I think for the Republican Party to re-emerge they've got to be stand on those principles. The Tea Party is reminding them of that.
O'DONNELL: Absolutely, and it's not just -- the Tea Party isn't made just of Republicans. It's Democrats. It's independents. It's people who are frustrated with establishment politics. As I define the establishment in my book.
The establishment is anyone who is willing to compromise their principles, to step on people in order to get ahead. What the Tea Party is reminding those in Washington, and those who play the, you know, I'll scratch your back, you scratch mine game is that there's an ideological reawakening that is happening. That's where our hope lies for our country.
HANNITY: That's what we're just saying in the last segment. I do think there is a huge conservative ascendancy, this was the second most attended straw poll in Iowa history, which is pretty interesting.
We saw the 2010 midterm election results. The argument that they are making already you are in a battle with Mike Castle's people, which I guess if they don't like what you say, too bad.
O'DONNELL: Exactly, this is my book.
HANNITY: Yes, it's your book. All right, but the argument was then and is now, well he had a better chance of winning because he's more moderate. And that argument is made a lot.
I think there are instances there may be some truth to that. I guess you have to decide and people have to decide, maybe a candidate is more electable, but maybe you are basically electing a water downed Democrat.
O'DONNELL: You know, it is not only that. Again, this book is not just some of the behind the scenes stories, but we get into the wonky stuff showing that is not actually true.
Mike Castle was dipping in the polls, way before I beat him. Because people are waking up and recognizing that what Republicans in name only and liberal Democrats, what establishment politicians represent does not help the country. And I think the electorate is more educated than ever. They know the principles on which our country was founded. They know the common sense principles. You brought up the debt thing. Why we are all shocked that our credit rating went down? That would happen to any family.
HANNITY: The fascinating thing about that if the Tea Party plan had been adopted, the "Cut, Cap and Balance" had been adopted, it met the stated standard of S&P to avoid a downgrade. It was interesting because the Democrats said this is the Tea Party downgrade. No, this is "President Downgrade's" downgrade.
O'DONNELL: Exactly, we were in trouble way before the Tea Party came on the scene. The Tea Party are the one who are willing to say that the emperor has no clothes. What they are trying to do is discredit the messenger in all of this.
But what I'm hoping to do in my book is encourage people that any major step forward in American history has been because people have said, enough is enough. They've taken the hits and they've decided to forge on, regardless of the attacks that came their way.
HANNITY: Look, I said to you before we came on air, do you want me to run the "I'm a witch. I'm not a witch ad?" You wrote in detail, you were told it wasn't going to run. It ran.
HANNITY: I remember seeing it --
O'DONNELL: I hated the ad. I never liked it.
HANNITY: Why did they get to run it if it is your campaign, why did you allow that to happen?
O'DONNELL: Well, first of all, it is my mistake. You know, I go into very much detail about the whole --
HANNITY: I'm glad to hear you are not a witch, you know. I really was beginning to worry about --
O'DONNELL: I know. But I go into detail about the thinking because there's a lesson --
HANNITY: Don't worry, go ahead. You should see the first "Hannity and Colmes." I can feel your pain, go ahead.
O'DONNELL: But there's a lesson in there because -- first of all, it went against my gut. Everything that enabled us to win the primary, everything that enabled the victory in 2010 is because of this organic movement within the Tea Party that is not based on politics as usual, but based on instincts and the convictions of the people who are propelling this movement forward.
HANNITY: All right, last question, are you going to run again?
O'DONNELL: I honestly don't know, we'll see.
HANNITY: All right, Christine O'Donnell, troublemaker that you are, good to see you.
O'DONNELL: Likewise. Thank you, Sean.
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