Powerful victory speech caps off Romney's big primary night

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," April 24, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And this is a Fox News alert. Mitt Romney winning big tonight, picking up wins in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, in Connecticut. And we are still awaiting results from the state of New York. And we continued tonight with Dana Perino and Stuart Varney. All right. I wanted to go through the speech. It's still about the economy, we're not stupid. Pretty powerful line.

PERINO: No matter what sort of distraction you try to throw our way.

HANNITY: That was another line.

PERINO: -- the focus is on the economy. That was basically the signal today.

HANNITY: But the line he used was because he has failed, and he used that term repeatedly throughout the speech tonight, the campaign will be diversion, distraction and distortion. The kind of campaign may have worked at another place at another time, not here, not now, and that's when he went in to that line.

PERINO: And he said -- right before we went to the break, this will be a choice election. I think it will be a choice election because it's a referendum on President Obama's policies.


VARNEY: Is it easier to make ends meet? Is it easier to sell your home or buy a new one? Have you saved what you needed for retirement? Are you making more in your job? That's exactly like Ronald Reagan saying. Are you better off now than you were four years ago?

HANNITY: Perfect.

VARNEY: He goes right to the heart of our economic problems. Jobs are an issue. Housing is an issue. The cash value in your pocket is an issue. That speech went right to the heart of the economic record of President Obama.

HANNITY: And then he went into -- for every single mom who feels heartbroken when she has to explain to our kids that she needs to take a second job or for every grandparent who can't afford the gas to visit his or her grandchildren, because there has been attempt to try and portray Governor Romney as quote, "The silver spoon and he's mouth," et cetera. And here he is identifying, wait a minute, Barack Obama has three and a half years, this hasn't worked.

VARNEY: And these are all of the issues that Barack Obama is running away from. He doesn't want to mention jobs and housing and the cash in your pocket. He doesn't want to mention that. He doesn't want to mention debt, deficits. The economic growth rate. He doesn't want to mention the Social Security is getting bankruptcy a lot sooner than we thought. He doesn't want to mention that Medicare is running out of money, a lot sooner than we thought. He doesn't want to mention any of that. He's completely away from that. He sticks with class warfare, he sticks with divisive comments. Such a sharp contrast to what we just saw from Mitt Romney.

HANNITY: And think of the line that he used here. Besides saying, we're never going to apologize for America again, which I think is going to be a powerful point of contrast in the election. But he also dealt head on with issue of class warfare. That seems to be, as you said, you think they are going to continue with this when he said, you know, I see children -- outlining his vision for the country -- more successful than their parents, a fear most Americans have that the American dream will not be as good for their kids and grandkids. And others congratulating them for their achievements and not attacking them for it. That was pretty powerful.

PERINO: Right. Today, you would not be mistaken if you thought that President Obama thought he was the only one that worked hard in college and had to get through, you know, with student loans to help pay for things. People were poor in college because like, you know, a lot of people are -- you have to work hard. You went through that, I went through it.

HANNITY: I had to drop out of school three times because I ran out of money.

PERINO: I was a country music DJ for crying out loud, 2 a.m. to 6 a.m.

HANNITY: I worked construction, Dana Perino.

PERINO: Right. You are stronger than me.

I really think that the other thing that he showed tonight is, you can't have traveled around the country as much as he has outside of the bubble and not have met people that counting on him to try to change things. That is what he was talking about tonight. That's wasn't just made up. He actually felt it and believed it.

HANNITY: Ann Romney got emotional today.


HANNITY: And I don't have time to show it in this moment, we'll going to show it later in the program. She got emotional when she was speaking about people in the country and women. So, we'll get to that.

Here's the last question, it seems to me, and I actually think he can thank the other candidates for this -- that this process has made him infinitely better as a candidate. The Mitt Romney that gave that speech tonight was a very different Mitt Romney that started in this campaign. True or false.

VARNEY: He's in a simplistic level of delivery. The delivery tonight was infinitely better --

HANNITY: Infinitely.

VARNEY: -- than the delivery of other speeches, three or four months ago. It was much more measured. He has got his message down. It's positive.

HANNITY: And if I were David Axelrod or Plouffe or the White House, I would be paying very close attention. Because they will not have answers for the questions he raise here tonight. I don't think.

VARNEY: Right. He slowed down too. Just a simple thing. He's slowing down, just a simple thing of being more deliberate and more presidential.

HANNITY: Kind of like Dana when she was press secretary. She was very deliberate and very calm. Never got rattled.

PERINO: Trying to breathe. That's the goal.


HANNITY: Is that the goal?

PERINO: Yes. Don't pass out.

HANNITY: All right. You didn't make fun of Stuart's accent tonight.

PERINO: Well, I was waiting for him say that, "It will not work, the class warfare piece."

VARNEY: You're right, yet again, madam.

PERINO: Well, will it work for Romney?

VARNEY: It's not a class warrior.

PERINO: Yes, I know.

VARNEY: Nowhere near a class warrior.

PERINO: Will that speech work?

VARNEY: Yes, that speech will work, definitely.

HANNITY: It's wonderful to have you Stuart. Good to see you. We'll have a bit of tea after the show.

All right. Thank you all for being with us. Good to see you.

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