This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," June 7, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST OF "HANNITY": And welcome back to "Hannity." And during the spirited Republican primary this election season, Kentucky Senator Ron Paul was out on the trail, campaigning for his father, Texas Congressman Ron Paul. But tonight, he is here to make a major announcement about 2012 and the presidential race. We welcome back to the program, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. Sir, how are you?
SEN. RAND PAUL, R-KY.: Hey, good to see you, Sean.
HANNITY: All right. First of all, before you say what I think you are going to say, did you check in with your congressman father, presidential candidate, I guess officially, finally dropped out of the race?
PAUL: Well, you know, my first choice had always been my father. I campaigned for him when I was 11 years old. He';s still my first pick. But you know, now that the nominating process is over, tonight, I'm happy to announce, that I'm going to be supporting Governor Romney.
HANNITY: Yes. How do you -- look, if you didn't support your father, by the way, I mean, I would really question family loyalty there. And I think it was totally understandable. And I know, you know what, you love and you respect your dad. And I agree with your dad on many issues. I have no idea why he's still mad at me and he rejects coming on this program, but that's a whole different story for another day. Tell me why you're supporting Governor Romney?
PAUL: Well, you know, I think it's interesting that Governor Romney and I actually have quite a few similarities. You know, Governor Romney's dad ran for president and was unsuccessful. Governor Romney then went on to support the nominee, the same way his dad did. Governor Romney comes from a big family. I don't know them that well, but I think it's a big, loving family and so do I. I come from a family with five kids. Governor Romney has five kids. He's had a long and happy marriage. So, have my parents. I think we have a lot of the same family values and trust and feeling of the importance of the family unit. So, that I think draws a kinship between our families. But I met with him recently, I had about a 30-minute meeting with him. He was nice enough to meet with me when he was in Washington recently. We talked about a lot of issues. It was a free-ranging discussion.
We talked about issues frankly that are very important to me, that are important to my dad and to many of his followers. And many of these, you know, Governor Romney's already taken a position on. One of the big issues for our supporters, for myself and my dad is auditing the Fed. We think there needs to be more transparent in the Fed and more oversight by Congress. And this is something that Governor Romney was supportive of throughout his campaign and also was supportive in private to me. We talked about other issues that are important to my dad's followers. My dad has a legion of young followers who are on the Internet. And they think they rule the Internet. Maybe they do, maybe they don't. But they are very concerned about the freedom of the Internet. There has been legislation recently, SOPA that Governor Romney came out in the debates and was opposed to this SOPA, which would take away some of the process of ownership on the Internet. And we were very afraid that it would limit Internet freedom. And Governor Romney's right there with us on those issues also. So, I think there's a lot of kinship on those issues. Another big issue for me is the Rains Act. I am the chief sponsor in the Senate on a bill that would say that any major regulation and I think we've got so much over regulation now, but any major rule or regulation that would cost the economy over $100 million should have to come back and be voted on in Congress. And Governor Romney's right there with me on that issue. So, I think we have a lot in common, a lot of things that we will be able to fight together on.
HANNITY: But Senator, two issues you didn't mention that I believe this is a choice election. And on ObamaCare, there is one major difference. Even on issues of spending, even though maybe you don't agree that, for example, the Ryan plan goes fast enough, I know you support and you've signed onto the Mack-Penny plan. I hope that goes through. Governor Romney, when I asked him about it. It seemed intrigued by the idea. But when it comes to fiscal responsibility, ObamaCare, there are vast differences here. Do you think this country can afford four more years of Obama?
PAUL: No. My state is really suffering. We stand to lose 50,000 jobs in the coal industry if President Obama continues. I think one thing that Governor Romney would make as a president do is he would actually bring a more balanced approach to regulation. We are going to have some regulation. Some regulation actually protects the environment. But President Obama has allowed the tilt and the balance to go so far that he's crushing the economy now and crushing jobs. And I think that Governor Romney would have a more balanced approach to regulation --
HANNITY: Well, energy in general.
PAUL: .and he sorely need that. Excuse me?
HANNITY: Energy in general, Senator. I mean, he is for all the above, he will start drilling immediately. And he's been very clear about that. Those 50,000 jobs you mentioned in Kentucky. And we can go to West Virginia, we can go to other places and fracking and all these other things. He's in support of all of these things, which we all know than President Obama is not.
PAUL: Well, you know, the energy industry, the oil and gas industry employs 9.2 million people and pays $86 million a day in taxes. And I want to encourage them to produce more oil and gas in our country. These are good American jobs; these are jobs that can't be outsourced. Energy jobs are great for our country. And I know Governor Romney will allow the Keystone Pipeline to occur. I know that he will encourage the oil and gas industry and he won't say, oh, this is terrible that corporations make money. That's the kind of attitude that's making companies want to go overseas. We need to encourage companies to stay and come back to America, not leave the country.
HANNITY: You are very well loved in the Tea Party movement. Will you go out on the campaign trail for Governor Romney?
PAUL: Yes. And I think that I can be an asset in solidifying the conservative base of the party. But I also think that myself, my father and the movement that he started attracts a lot of independents, also. So a lot of these young people are not necessarily the conservative base.
HANNITY: All right.
PAUL: But, you know, in my discussions with Governor Romney, I brought forward exactly what I believe, and that's that you and I have had this discussion before that there should be checks and balances, that the right to declare war starts with the legislature. It's important that we separate these powers. We had a very good and I think honest discussion about a lot of these things and I came away from a feeling that he will be a very responsible commander-in-chief. I don't think he will be reckless, I don't think he will be rash. And I think that he realizes and believes as I do that war's the last resort and something that we don't rush willy-nilly into. And I came away feeling that he'll have a mature attitude and beliefs towards foreign policy.
HANNITY: All right. Ron Paul, I think it's a big endorsement coming from you. And we'll be looking for out campaign trail and as always, thank you for being with us.
PAUL: Thanks, Sean.
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