Fox News contributor attacked at Michigan pro-union protest feared for his life

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," December 11, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: There's continued breaking news out of Lansing, Michigan, where protest turned violent today as big labor demonstrators took to the streets of Michigan's capital city in reaction to the passage of a bill that dramatically limits the power of unions. Now, in just a few short minutes, I'll be joined live by Steven Crowder. Now, Crowder as you can see on the screen left is a Fox News contributor and he was in Lansing today, he was viciously assault by a union member. He was standing near the tent that was owned by Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group that supports the right to work. Now, that tent, that organization, quickly became the target of angry union demonstrators. And as you can see, the mob of left-wing thugs ultimately tore down the structure and they did so with people inside. However, what transpired before that is even more disturbing. Let's take a look.


STEVEN CROWDER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: What is it about right-to-work that you oppose so much? What is it about right-to-work?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It's because it's the freedom to free load.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: They can suck all of the parasitical benefits and hard wages that unions have negotiated and they did it for free.

CROWDER: You destroyed one tent. Leave the tent alone.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Get out of my (bleep) face.

CROWDER: Don't tear down the tent.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Get out of my face.

CROWDER: You hurt a lady in there.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Bleep) I didn't hurt nobody. Get the (bleep) out of my face. Back off. Back the (bleep) off.

CROWDER: Don't tear down the tent.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Back the (bleep) off.



CROWDER: You just assaulted me.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: What are you going to (bleep) do?


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: He's got a gun!

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I'll kill a (bleep) with a gun! I've killed plenty (INAUDIBLE) --

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Hey, leave him alone.


HANNITY: Joining me now from Michigan to talk about exactly what happened now there today, Fox News contributor Steven Crowder. Steven, first, you got hit pretty hard. You have a chipped tooth, you have another injury. What happened?

CROWDER: Well, listen, I'm under-rested, overworked right now and still tough enough to take the union's greatest punch apparently. I'm not that hurt. Listen, it was more mentally shaking to see this happen, more upsetting to get home and see my wife so upset. I went out there and leftist right now are saying that I deserved the beating that I got, completely physically unprovoked, and the reason for that is that I did go went in and apparent I provoked it by asking them, why they are against right-to-work? By asking them, what about someone in Michigan who might want to work for a company and might not want to join a union?

And then of course, I asked them as they were consistently destroying private property with people in the tent, they were tearing the tent apart, Sean, and destroying it. I asked them to stop. Many of us tried to pull them off the tent. And so, yes, in that sense apparently, I did provoke the four unanswered punches directly to my face. Call me a provocateur, Sean.

HANNITY: All right. But this is in a state that is the birthplace of the modern labor movement. Now, we cannot under estimate what has happened here. This is a huge victory for workers, for America, you know, because what a lot of people may not know, right-to-work means you don't have to join a union to get a job. In other words, you don't have to pay union dues to work at a company. In other words, you have freedom of choice, so there's a lot at stake here.

CROWDER: Well, there's absolutely a huge amount at stake. And you see most Americans of course want the right-to-work. Union, being a union manufacturing job, that's one of the biggest single threats you can have to your job security. You look at the amount of the manufacturing jobs that have been shipped overseas in the union sector versus the nonunion sector, it's several fold higher. You see this people, they're angry. Unions are founded on violence here in this country. And to give you prove that Americans right now are angry by this, this video went out about 3:00, 4:00 today and there's already been $6,000 coming in in donations to find the perpetrator from this video.

It's very important for the conservatives to realize right now there is a line drawn in the sand and there are Republicans and there are true conservatives out there laying it on the line. You can side with the people or the talking heads sitting back in their political strategist rooms or you can side with the people like me and the folks who essentially worked with Andrew Breitbart in light and still do in death. Right now, it's a very serious line being drawn, Sean.

HANNITY: All right. Before we get into the specifics of the issue which as we will be doing throughout the hour tonight, as we also follow other breaking news. This is really important, walk our viewers step by step to what we are seeing in this video. Because this is important. Explain exactly what happened.

CROWDER: OK. Well, I can't see the portion of the video you are running right now, I'm assuming it's right before the assault.

HANNITY: Walk us through the events. You know what's in the video. So, walk us through to what happened.

CROWDER: OK. Well, first off, I went in, asked a few people why are you against right-to-work. People were immediately hostile, were immediately violent. I was near the Americans for Prosperity tent. They began tearing this tent down, tearing it apart while people were still in it. A tent by the way, Sean, that can fit about 800 people. Do you realize how long that takes? It wasn't someone pulled out a pin. These people assaulted the tent and tore it down. When we came out to say, listen, there are women in here, there are old people in here, stop doing this, that's when they got even more violent and unruly and assaulted me.

HANNITY: All right. Let me start -- were there women and old people in there when they collapsed that tent?

CROWDER: You can see in this video, a woman walking out as they are trampling on that tent. You can see her walking out from it. There were certainly women and old people in there beforehand as they started tearing it down. If some got out, I don't know. Just like was I able to mitigate the injuries as this guy was wailing on my face? Yes. Absolutely. But that doesn't change the intent. And I want to make something very clear here, Sean -- I never went out here to try and to be assaulted as leftists might say. I went out here to prove the left for who they truly are, certainly these union thugs. And I have achieved that.

But people want to see civil actions taken against them. So, I just want to say one thing really importantly. I am issuing an ultimatum right now, they are trying to find this man who assaulted me, to find this man who assaulted other people. And you have a choice, you can come forward, I'll press charges and you will go to jail, or since you wanted to cheap shot me, we can host a bout in a sanctioned to legalized MMA competition where the winner will get the money to go to the charity of his choice.

So, all of this money that's been raise, you have this man prosecuted and put in jail, I will match that and donate it to the union of his choice. It is your choice. Jail or face me like a man one-on-one legally and I am easy to find, @SCrowder on Twitter.

HANNITY: Steve, I have known you for long time. You are actually very well-equipped to protect yourself. You decided not to fight back. Explain --


HANNITY: You do have the ability to fight back.

CROWDER: Yes. Well, let me say a couple things, Sean. First, I knew that it would prove nothing, and secondly, honestly, I don't want to use the word literally here because when people use the word, you know, literally and they use it improperly, it makes me angry, figuratively speaking there. But I literally believe, Sean, that if I have defended myself at all, even flick the small little jab, that they would have killed me where I stood. I have never seen this kind of angry, vitriolic hatred. You take a scene from "The Dark Knight Rises," it is not as bad as this. I expected Bane to walk in with his cheap little mask. I still don't know why that movie is getting rave reviews.

But, yes, I expected these people to actually tear me limb from limb. I knew, I couldn't take that. On one person, fine. Like Mr. Miyagi said, three people is too many for anyone, let's toss 1,200 into the mix, and of course, by the way, Sean, are we not addressing the fact that someone threatened to murder me with a gun on that tape, too?

HANNITY: Well, I heard that. It's at the end of the tape after the scuffle.

Now, there was a second moment here with the guy actually cold-cocked you when you weren't even looking. At least from my view of the tape, is that true?

CROWDER: I have to be honest, Sean. I took his guy's hardest hit on the jaw. My instinct was a clinch to mitigate damage. And you can see everyone holding him and he's not hitting me and I say, listen, I'm going to let you go, I'm going to let you go, please don't hit me. And I let go and try to run away and he sucker punches me. After that, I got to tell you, I'm going to be honest. I'm not playing tough guy. I was out on my feet, I didn't go down, walking back. Now, looking at the tape, some guy grabbed me from behind by the neck as I was going into the tent and yanked me, all of it is a blurred. It became a real melee. So, I can't tell you. I do know that I was cold-cocked and I was sucker punched. And as you can see in the video, it went unanswered. Maybe I deserve it, Sean.

HANNITY: I don't think you deserve it. But you didn't do anything to encourage this. And I have watched this tape a number of times. I didn't hear you say anything provocative or start a fight. Is there anything I didn't hear on the tape, just for the record?

CROWDER: No. I did a lot to encourage it, Sean. I asked them why they were against right-to-work. I asked them to stop hurting people in a tent. I asked them to stop destroying private property, so I guess I warranted getting a facial beating repeatedly, Sean, apparently.

HANNITY: Well, I disagree with that. But the real issue --

CROWDER: I'm saying that's the response from leftists right now. They're saying, you went down and you deserved it. Well, right now, we just showed the longer footage. You see, they were tearing down a tent. Again, it is very important to realize we were trying to defend women and people in that tent before they started assaulting people who were defending those women and old people in the tent, Sean.

HANNITY: All right. When we come back, this is really important. Steven, I'm glad you are healthy. Take care, be careful in these situations, please. And we will continue to follow this in the days to come. And I'm glad you were able to make it on the show tonight. Thanks for being with us.

CROWDER: Thank you, God bless.

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