This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," December 7, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And tonight, things are trending in the right direction for the Republican presidential contenders. A brand new poll indicates that if the election were held today, a generic GOP challenger would easily defeat Barack Obama.
Now according to the Rasmussen survey, 49 percent of U.S. voters would support the Republican candidate and only 41 percent say they would cast their ballots for the incumbent.
Now this is the largest margin of victory for the GOP on the generic ballot in more than three months. In addition, the same survey shows the Republicans are leading in several key swing states, including Ohio and Florida.
Joining me now from the great state of Alaska with reaction to all the latest 2012 developments, Fox News contributor, former governor, Sarah Palin. Governor, how are you?
SARAH PALIN, FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: I'm doing great, Sean, thanks.
HANNITY: First of all, what do you make of that poll? In head it head it seems Obama is a little closer but I think this is a little more realistic, which may go against some historical polling evidence and observations. What are your thoughts?
PALIN: Well, I'm very encouraged by those poll numbers. Too bad we don't have some dude running named "Generic GOP Candidate." We'd be just fine. We will have a specific candidate who rises to the top and faces Obama. And let's just hope that that candidate is on fire in terms of bringing out the difference between what he represents and what Obama represents, the socialist policies that are bankrupting this policy. And we have to make sure the candidate that emerges from this GOP primary understands that we want passion, that we want fiery, not just rhetoric, but solutions that are proposed and experiences been expressed to make sure that we undo what Obama has done to this country.
HANNITY: And Jay Carney, by the way, says the White House is not very focused on the Republican race. Do you buy that?
PALIN: No. You know, a lot of Republicans live in Jay Carney's and Barack Obama's and Joe Biden's minds free of charge. It's interesting to live there rent free and to be able to kind of put some pressure on them as we go forward in talking about the changes that need to be made in this country.
You know, remember too, Sean, we have a distinct advantage going into the 2012 race that we did not have in '08. Obama finally has a record. Of course he did not have a record when he ran as a candidate in '08. He had voted present most of his political career. He was an unknown and just had a lot of hogwash rhetoric that he spewed about hope and change. And now we know what that hope and change represented, and it was socialist policies and they're not working. And that's why we see the joblessness and the home mortgage crisis that is really making Americans suffer. We see so many problems today that are a result of what Obama really represents. So we have that advantage today.
Another advantage that we have is the speech that Obama gave yesterday in Kansas where he really expressed his ideas, his beliefs in what he means by fundamentally transforming this country into what I believe is a socialist nation. When he says that the alternative to his socialist policies, the free market, just doesn't work, it tells us what he really, really means and what he intends to do if he had four more years to do it.
HANNITY: That's interesting. That was my next question to you, because the Obama 2008 lofty rhetoric, big crowds, tried to at least portray himself as moderate. People ignored the warning signs, some of which you just mentioned. But I saw a man obsessed, obsessed with the concept of class warfare, more so than I would argue any president in modern history. Is that what you saw?
PALIN: I did. And you sounded that warning bell. Others tried to also. Again, being the second half of a team that was running against Obama, we did not do a good enough job, I believe, my ticket, in bringing out what those differences were between constitutional conservatives and what Obama represented.
But you, Sean, and others tried as hard as you could to get Americans to understand what it was that he represented. We missed the boat last go around. Let that not happen this time. I think America is really waking up. They are realizing that there is a positive alternative to what Obama represents. And I think that that is reflected now in the support that independents and the GOP is receiving.
HANNITY: The president's civility -- because he's often excoriated conservatives, including yourself, after the tragic shooting of Gabrielle Giffords, you remember big news as somehow you used the term of targeted races which by the way Bob Beckel created and many Democrats used over the years.
And I went back and I started looking at some of the rhetoric of the president here. Beyond class warfare, this is a president who says that Republicans want everyone to fend for themselves -- not true. That Republican conservatives want dirtier air, dirtier water, fewer people on healthcare. He says Republicans want the elderly, autistic children, people with Down syndrome to fend for themselves. I don't know any conservative that believes any of these things. So what happened to the lectures on civility and rhetoric that he was giving you and talk radio and Fox and everybody else?
PALIN: You just gave some examples of more of Obama's hogwash where he is out there spewing this rhetoric. He doesn't mean it. So when he gave that speech yesterday and he talked about fairness, you know that that he doesn't actually mean it, especially when he can't walk the walk. He tries to talk the talk, but his actions certainly don't match what his speeches are all about.
He talked about fairness yesterday, and yet fairness would be everybody's pitching in and paying at least a bit for some of the services that they are provided by our government, and yet 50 percent of Americans don't even pay an income tax. So in that respect they're not participating. But he doesn't consider that.
He's heading off for a multi-day vacation in luxurious Hawaii while the rest of America is looking at --
HANNITY: It's 17 days.
PALIN: -- making sacrifices in order to make ends meet. So again, just example after example of his words not matching his actions. He's a phony, Sean. Barack Obama is a phony, and America, I believe again, we are waking up it that and we around going to put up with that.
HANNITY: We have to say something that has to be said here. When he says the Republicans want dirty air, water, and kids with Down syndrome, autism, to fend for themselves, that's dishonest. You might even use a more severe term, it's a lie. It's not true.
So I have two questions for you about this. You mentioned earlier you want a passionate candidate that's going to fight back. Are you going to endorse -- who are you leaning towards, and how would you advise that candidate to fight back against these scurrilous charges?
PALIN: Well, I'm not ready to make an endorsement yet because there is still a long process. Remember, Iowa in four weeks isn't the end of the road. It is the beginning of the road. And there will be more debates. And more things will come out about each of these candidates so that we can make a very good decision on who our candidate needs to be to go up against Barack Obama.
We can't be complacent when we consider that the poll numbers today show that by eight points a generic GOP candidate can beat Obama because we have to remember that $1 billion and 90 percent of the lame-stream media will be in Obama's back pocket again and it's going to be a tough race.
So we do need to make sure our candidate is vetted and ready to go, and I certainly at this point I would advise our candidates to remember to focus on the problems that Barack Obama has caused this country. Quit nitpicking at each other. Some of these candidates, Sean, are playing right into the left's playbook. They are doing that opposition research and broadcasting it for the left. Instead, let us concentrate on the problems under Obama and how we can fix them.
HANNITY: Looking at today's snapshot, which is that Newt Gingrich is the frontrunner in terms of the polls, Mitt Romney is second. Would you be comfortable supporting either-or, Mitt or former Speaker Gingrich?
PALIN: At the end of the day I will support the GOP nominee because I do know that every person that is on the GOP side today and these independents that are running that hardly register on the polls, they, too, would be infinitely better than what we have in the White House today.
HANNITY: All right, governor, by the way, I'm looking at the Christmas tree. I still don't see many decorations up there, governor. I am going to have to mail you some decorations. I only see about two or three. But we love the fire and it's a nice tree. Thanks for being with us.
PALIN: Thank you so much, Sean.
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