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Hannity

Christine O'Donnell Endorses Mitt Romney on 'Hannity'

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," December 13, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Christine O'Donnell was a Tea Party favorite during the 2010 midterm elections. And while she was unsuccessful in defeating Chris Coons for the Senate seat, she still remains a strong political force and voice for the Republican Party.

She is here tonight to announce who she is supporting for the GOP nomination.

How are you doing? Welcome back.

CHRISTINE O'DONNELL, FORMER SENATE CANDIDATE: Thank you. Thank you for having me.

HANNITY: First of all, before you tell us, apparently you announced that you're announcing and you got a lot of negative feedback.

O'DONNELL: The passion that propels the Tea Party could be our undoing. You know, if we get so hard headed that we're not willing to unite around whoever is the nominee. I got a handful. You know, considering we have 100,000 people. I have a handful of people that are saying, if it's not Ron Paul, take me off your list --

HANNITY: I've got to tell you. I'm sick and tired of the media that ignores Bill Ayers. Rick Perry had a brain freeze, so what. Mitt Romney had a $10,000 bet, so what.

O'DONNELL: That was an obvious hyperbole and everybody blew it out of --

HANNITY: You know, Newt Gingrich is going to implode, he's radical. You know, I'm tired of all of it. I think we have a good slate of candidates. I'm not going to endorse. I'm going to let the people on their own decide. Because I don't have a vote anyway until much later in the process. I just want to give them as much access to the candidates as I can. All right, so who is it?

O'DONNELL: Well, let me first preface it with this. It was not an easy decision because I too think that any of our candidates would make a great president and a great candidate going against Barack Obama.

But I think that there are certain tie-breakers. I know that in making my decision I might be hurting some people, but I think infrastructure and executive experience are important --

HANNITY: Who? Come on!

O'DONNELL: For that reason, I am endorsing Mitt Romney.

HANNITY: OK.

O'DONNELL: I'm very happy. It's not anti-Gingrich or anti-anyone else, but actually a pro-Governor Romney endorsement.

HANNITY: There seems to be the narrative that has emerged against Mitt that he is more establishment less Tea Party. Do you think it's unfair?

O'DONNELL: I think it's unfounded and unmerited. First of all, take a look at who he got behind in early races. Newt Gingrich for example was relentlessly for the liberal Republican in one of the first Tea Party -- races

HANNITY: Talking about Dede Scozzafav.

O'DONNELL: Dede. Yes. In NY-23.

HANNITY: Which he said he regretted.

O'DONNELL: Yes, but look at Governor Romney who is not out there boasting about it. One of the first ones in, Scott Brown, got behind Nikki Haley, Marco Rubio, me.

So this says a lot. The courage and conviction it takes to get behind anti-establishment candidates speaks volumes. I think people are overlooking that. People are having -- especially Tea Partiers have a visceral response that is not merited.

Now I'm not so arrogant as to think that my endorsement is going to make or break his candidacy, but what I do hope is that my bona fides is someone who is personally sacrificed, financially sacrificed in order to go against the establishment who make people take a second look.

HANNITY: Are you going to go on the road with him and campaign for him?

O'DONNELL: Well, I would like to. As soon as I made up my mind, I do want to say, they did not come to me I went to them. You know, because a lot of the anti-Romney stuff got me thinking. Where is this coming from?

The campaign was very open. Every comment and every criticism, they responded to me, setting the record straight. What I found was that a lot of the accusations that he is not going to fully repeal Obamacare, that is not what he has said. I found that a lot of people are making these judgments based on misinformation about his record. I would like to do whatever I think can be helpful.

HANNITY: Are you going to run again?

O'DONNELL: Most likely probably. But, you know, first, we've got to unite behind 2012 and get rid of Barack Obama.

HANNITY: I'm anybody but Obama.

O'DONNELL: Absolutely.

HANNITY: This is an important election in our lifetime. I think Mitt would be a good president. I think Newt would be a good president. I think Bachmann and Santorum would be good presidents. It's all going to get started and the people watching this program will decide.

O'DONNELL: I think that is why we cannot have a repeat of 2008 because unlike in 2008 when Bush was not the candidate, we have an incumbent president who was going to be campaigning from the Oval Office.

HANNITY: It's going to be billion dollar smear campaign.

O'DONNELL: Right.

HANNITY: Christine, good see you.

O'DONNELL: Thank you.

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