Hannity to Republicans: Do the right thing on the 'fiscal cliff'

Sean's message to the Republican Party


This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," December 6, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Now that the president through Tim Geithner announced that he wants to go over the 'fiscal cliff,' I begin tonight with some advice for House Republicans.

Now first, Republicans and conservatives need to understand that the person that they are negotiating with, Barack Obama, he views this more through the prism of politics and ideology than economics.

Now, how do we know this? It's easy. Because his proposal to raise taxes on the top two percent in terms of the revenue generated, well, that's the equivalent of a grain of sand on the beach. Now, even if Obama gets what he wants, which is to raise the top rates from 35 percent to 39.6 percent, the revenues would merely fund this government for roughly eight days.

Now, the money the federal government would add to the Treasury would hardly make a dent in the yearly deficit, and not even a chip of a cent off the $16 trillion debt. Obama is saying that raising revenues is absolutely necessary. This is a moral imperative; he'd rather go over the 'fiscal cliff' than not to raise tax rates. So, Obama is pushing higher taxes on the top two percent, not for economic reasons, but for ideological reasons. B

But there is also this obvious fact. Obama wants to raise the top rates for political reasons. Now that is he wants to force Republicans to raise taxes in order to trigger a civil war within the GOP and the conservative movement, and in that respect ,sadly, Obama is having some success.

Now so long as this debate is focused not on cutting spending but on raising taxes and revenues with the only question being, "Which taxes, how much revenue?," well, then Obama wins. Now, if Obama succeeds in making the argument not about his spending, but about Grover Norquist, he wins there, too.

Now, for Republicans, on the other hand, if they can figure out a way to refocus this debate on spending, they win and the country wins. Now, we can't kid ourselves, that is not easy to do. Obama has the biggest microphone in the land and he also has the media in his hip pocket. Now, all the GOP has is control of the House. Now it's very hard, it's inherently hard for any branch of Congress to present a unified disciplined front.

Well now the polls show that the public will blame the GOP if we go over the 'fiscal cliff.' Now, if that's the case, if Obama in fact wants to go over the cliff, and/or won't deal unless Republicans agree to raise the top rates or revenues, then Boehner needs to understand this reality and not under any circumstances surrender or appear weak. Now what that means specifically is Boehner cannot allow himself to begin to negotiate with himself and other Republicans, because all that will do is vindicate and reward Obama's inflexibility and cause a fierce and harmful internal fight within the GOP and conservativism.

Now the sad part is, I get the feeling with each and every day passing day as Republicans move closer and closer to the Obama position, that they are too afraid to go over the cliff. They are too willing to make a deal, any deal, no matter how bad that might be. Now, that's the danger. And there's a feeling out there these days in terms of the body language and the posture of the Republican leadership, that's the direction they are headed. They look like they are afraid. They look like they want to deal and if they don't get one, the world is going to come crashing down on them.

Now, that's the mindset that needs to change. So what Boehner and company need to do are the following. One, they need to understand the game that Obama is playing and they need to adjust accordingly to this. If Obama is acting in a way that isn't to helping the economy but is meant to destroy the Republican Party, well, they have to accept that and act wisely. It would be suicidal to assume that you are dealing with a reasonable and flexible man when in fact Obama is a hyper partisan ideologue.

Number two, House Republicans need to begin the past legislation that advances their agenda and they need to send that to the Senate. Now if the bill dies, well, so be it. At least Republicans will have offered a positive governing alternative to Obama.

Now three, Republicans need to keep in mind that if we go over the cliff, Republicans, we know they are going to be blamed, but Obama will also be badly damaged by this. Now, he is the head of this parade, and for one thing, a badly weakened economy is going to hurt him more than anyone.

So, Republicans need to figure out that their hand is stronger than they think, and they need to remember they are the ones that control spending, and under no circumstances should they ever give Obama a blank check or give up their constitutional authority.

Now number four, Republicans, and in particular John Boehner, you need to lift your eyes and reminds yourself that a party that gets trapped into negotiating on the terms of the opposition, you always suffer, and they suffer in particular if they lose the battle over the narrative.

Now right now, that's what's happening to Republicans since all the focus here is on taxes and not spending. Republicans need to take steps like passing real legislation that allows them to talk about their agenda, not what Obama wants to talk about. And they have to figure out creative ways to make their case to the American people.

It's time that Republicans have the courage of their convictions. It is simply immoral to continue to steal from future generations with out of control deficits and now record debt.

Now, going over this cliff to prevent the country from going bankrupt would be under these circumstances, I argue, a very noble endeavor. A noble goal. This is simply standing up for what is right, what is moral, what is just. It's standing up for your children and future generations. It is the right thing to do because this is now a fight for the soul of America.

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