This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," November 13, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Based on Hillary Clinton's current vacation itinerary, one would not know just how close the Middle East is to an all-out war. Now as Hillary Clinton has down under for wine tastings and private functions with her entourage, our most important ally in the Middle East is scrambling to protect itself from the latest violence in Syria.
Now just yesterday, the Israeli military struck a Syrian artillery launcher after a stray mortar from the country's ongoing civil war hit right into Israeli territory.
Also on Monday, the Israeli Air Force was forced to strike Gaza terror targets after multiple rockets slammed into Southern Israel throughout the day.
So my question is, where is the Obama administration as the time bomb ticks down in the Middle East? Joining me now, Iowa Congressman Steve King and from South Carolina, Congressman Trey Gowdy.
Guys, welcome back. Congressman King, OK, we've got Benghazi hearings. She is at a wine tasting. We have we've got Israel conflicts, Syria, pending issues with Iran. Lot of trouble now with the Muslim Brotherhood, you know, where are the priorities here?
REP. STEVE KING, R-IOWA: Well, you would think that this would be the exactly the time when you need your secretary of state engaged in this thing full force. Anticipating the hearings coming up in Congress as we've come in after the election and Hillary Clinton finds herself conveniently out of touch in Australia.
She was the one that -- General Petraeus, of course, resigned and took him off the stage. Now Hillary Clinton is out of the hemisphere. She is off the stage for now. We're going to have to continue to drill on this, Sean. But the balance of power in the Middle East and the U.S. influence there does need a secretary of state on task.
So we've got two things going on. One is the continuing developments in Benghazi and how we have to investigate that completely. Plus the opportunity to maybe avert some disaster in the Middle East, I don't see her on the job.
HANNITY: Yes, Iran, Libya, Congressman Gowdy, your reaction to all of this, where is the secretary of state? Why isn't she testifying this week? I think the American people have a right to know. What they knew, when they knew it. Our State Department was watching Libya unfold in real-time according to testimony that was given by State Department officials. Where is she?
REP. TREY GOWDY, R-S.C.: You know, Sean, Benghazi is more than just a murder investigation of four fellow citizens as significant as that is. It actually impacts the very fabric of our republic, can you trust government?
Two of the three essential witnesses that we need to answer those questions, David Petraeus and Hillary Clinton, are unavailable. Susan Rice, I can't speak to whether she is available or not, but I can tell you two of them. The week Congress reconvenes to investigate the murder of four Americans neither of them are available witnesses.
I have a question what is her legacy is going to be, Benghazi is going to be her legacy.
HANNITY: But they continue, Congressman King, to delay, to obfuscate, they pulled the same nonsense on "Fast and Furious," brought it all the way up to a contempt of Congress citation and then they invoke executive privilege.
So here we've got a situation where we know that the ambassador requested security and it was denied. It was actually reduced and then put up to the same levels.
Then we know during, we had request for assistance. We don't know what the president knew. We don't know when he knew it. We don't where he was. Then after he denied it was even a terror attack, blaming a YouTube video for two weeks.
This was September 11th. He got through two months heading into an election. The media didn't ask him questions.
KING: And Sean, remember that the CIA with the approval of General Petraeus said no one in our shop gave the order to stand down. So the question becomes, where did that come from, the secretary of state's office or out of the White House itself?
I would take this thing back to -- I remember Watergate. We knew about that before Richard Nixon was re-elected. Yet, it took better part of a year before the truth of that came out.
We've also have the Iran contra affair. We had Admiral Poindexter who was the deniable link so that it didn't get to Reagan. There is an Admiral Poindexter in here. Two or three of them, perhaps. This is something that many, many times more serious than Watergate ever thought of being. House Republicans have an obligation to drill in this thing with all the authority we have.
HANNITY: All right, Congressman Gowdy, last question. I don't think the president has a mandate as he's claiming to raise taxes. You have a grand bargain discussion, fiscal cliff we keep hearin. Do you know one Republican that was elected on raising taxes? Will the Republicans hold the line on this?
GOWDY: Yes, we will, Sean, for this reason. If I ask you to define conservatism, what does it mean. Limited growth -- limited government so it spurs growth. If we go up to 39 on the top marginal rate, then why not 42? How about 45? How about 50? Where does it stop? If you want to define conservatism it has to -- there is a certain point beyond which government should not take from its citizens. My prediction, I may be in a small minority, but the House Republicans will not relent on the top marginal rate.
HANNITY: There is a mandate too for them. They continue to be in power by a significant margin and I think the American people sent a message there.
Guys, thank you both for being with us. We'll continue to follow all of this.
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