This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," March 2, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: There have been a lot of questions asked during the hotly contested primary season about whether or not the base of the Republican Party will ultimately unite behind the nominee come November. But even worse, some conservatives now appear to be ready to essentially surrender the White House this year to Barack Obama. In a column set for release on Sunday, George Will writes that conservatives should start thinking about turning their energies to a goal more attainable than, quote, "electing Romney or Santorum president. It is the goal of retaining control of the House and winning control of the Senate."
But George Will and others may be getting ahead of themselves. Because if you remember back in 2004, there was perhaps no bigger critic of George W. Bush than Patrick J. Buchanan. However, just a few short days before voters went to the polls in November of 2004, Buchanan threw his support behind the Republican incumbent writing, quote, "No matter the quarrels inside the family, when the shooting starts, you come home to your own."
So, will GOP voters be able to put aside their criticisms of the nominee in 2012 just as Buchanan did in 2004? Here with insight, the author of "Suicide of a Superpower," former presidential candidate himself, out of exile, Patrick J. Buchanan. Sir, welcome for duty.
PATRICK J. BUCHANAN, AUTHOR, "SUICIDE OF A SUPERPOWER": Thank you. Good to talk to you, Sean.
HANNITY: All right. Well, it's interesting. Because you are right. And I don't even see this as a remote threat. And I know a lot is being said, a lot of damage is being done. I don't see it. I think in the end, people are going to unite because Obama's record is so atrocious. Your thoughts?
BUCHANAN: Sean, George Will ought to have his pundit's license suspended. When you go for the presidency of the United States, that's the way also to win the House and win the Senate. They are all up for grabs. If Obama wins the White House, he could very well hold on to the Senate and really take a lot of seats in the House. But the House, the Senate, the presidency and the Supreme Court are at stake. We got four Supreme Court justices, Scalia, Roberts, Alito, Thomas and you got four liberals. That's at stake in this next election!
BUCHANAN: So, everything is there. And there is no reason to panic.
HANNITY: I don't know if its -- look, he's a well-respected writer. I have enjoyed watching his commentary over the years. I know you probably have. But we are looking at a weak incumbent here. You know, Gallup average, he was down at 43 percent, 46 percent this week, averaging around 44 percent. If you look at his approval on the economy, right track/wrong track, if you look at his approval on the signature legislation, health care, you know, these are not the numbers of a very strong incumbent. They are the numbers of a weak incumbent.
BUCHANAN: Sean, you know, a couple of months ago, Obama was so low in the polls, even the Kenyans were saying, he was born in the United States. Look, look at the polls.
HANNITY: You know, you come right on this network, and you're looking for trouble. You know, just right out of the box. But go ahead.
BUCHANAN: That's a joke. Today the Gallup poll has got Mitt Romney at 50 to 46 over Obama. It has got Santorum running just about dead even. Why in heaven's name would you write this off? This happened, Sean, after 20 debates and all of these rough, these Super PAC attack ads and all the rest of it, and the Republicans are up against Obama now. I mean, Reagan at times was down 20 points with Carter. I mean, a lot of folks were saying he's got to put Gerald Ford on the ticket, if you recall. So, I think there is no reason to write this off.
HANNITY: I don't even think it's close to, we don't even know what will define this election because events could change tomorrow. If Israel, for example, attacks Iran, who knows how big national security will be, as a defining issue in the campaign. And you are right about Reagan. You know, Reagan didn't take off in the polls until September of 1980 when he won.
All right. Let me ask you this though about the left. We were talking about Andrew Breitbart, the vile, vicious, horrific comments, the comments that the President has already made about the Republicans and kids with autism, Down syndrome, et cetera and the poor. And all of these other -- selected moral outrage, everywhere. Because Democrats can say anything about Sarah Palin, George Bush, get away with it. If a conservative says something, deemed over the top. That's outrageous. This is going to be the campaign. Will that be successful for Obama? Does he get to hide from his record, in other words?
BUCHANAN: No. Well, that depends on the Republicans whether -- what they've got to do is they've got to make Obama and his record the issue in this election. Do you think what he's done merits re-election and four more years? The second issue I mentioned is the Supreme Court. A third issue, Sean is this -- this country is in political deadlock. Nothing happened in 2011. Nothing is going to happen in 2012. You put Barack Obama back in that White House and then we got four more years of deadlock, $5 trillion more in national debt, and this country is headed down the road to Greece and Italy. I genuinely believe that the Republican -- we need to have a conservative president, a conservative Congress and they have to work together, that's the only way you are going to get this federal deficit under control and get this debt under control.
HANNITY: Look, Paul Ryan said in this program, we have two to three years before the -- the bond markets abandon us. Now, that's a short -- that's a very short window. And I think you are right. The warnings about Greece and Italy and Spain and Portugal and the euro -- it's all coming our way if we don't do something about it. I think it's a three-step process, fire Obama, get a Republican that governs conservatively. Step two, a conservative Congress. House and Senate. And step three, the American people can't walk away and just say, oh, I voted, I'm done. They've got to keep their foot on the gas. They have to hold these guys accountable, and that means that they've got to really deal with the tough issue, the third rail of politics, Social Security and Medicare. Will they do it?
BUCHANAN: Well, that's the key question. I think if the Republicans do it, if you had a President Romney and a conservative Senate, conservative House, and they really did the carving and the cutting and the controlling of spending, that's going to involve a lot of pain. It could be a very tough election for the Republicans in 2014. And hopefully, you would be out of the woods and got this done by the time the presidential election of 2016 came around. But you are right, Sean. Listen, we ought not minimize the courage and the toughness and the character that are going to be needed, if you are going to take a federal budget, which is about 24-25 percent of GDP and bring it back to 20 percent of GDP or 19 percent of GDP. That is a tremendous amount of money. But if it's not done, again, I don't see how you get off this road we are on, where you see Greece and Italy and Spain ahead of us.
HANNITY: What about, you know, the way Andrew Breitbart's treated by the left? Why does the left get away with this selective moral outrage, these horrific things said about him? Why does Bill Maher get away with using this vile language against Governor Palin? No outrage from the president, no phone calls from the president. What do you make of that double standard?
BUCHANAN: Well, the left controls the culture. It is dominant in the culture. The folks have started off sort of in the 1960s, they grew up and now in television, entertainment, Hollywood, you name it. The media. They are predominant, except for Fox News and some other outlets, they are predominant. And you take a look at how Michael Moore is treated versus the way Andrew Breitbart was treated. And you can surely see the difference. That's exactly right. But Breitbart -- I didn't know the fellow. But Breitbart, from everything I understand, he had a lot of grit, a lot of guts, a lot of perseverance, did a lot of good and pointed out a lot of truths about institutions like ACORN, and the guy deserves better than some of the stuff he's getting.
HANNITY: All right. Patrick J. Buchanan, welcome out of exile, sir. I appreciate you being here.
BUCHANAN: Thank you, my friend.
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