OTR Interviews

Is Sean Hannity really leaving New York after Gov. Cuomo's anti-conservative comments?

'Hannity' host fires back at Gov. Andrew Cuomo's anti-'extreme' conservative rant and explains his threat to leave New York


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," January 21, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo telling extreme conservative candidates to get out of his state. That comment making many conservatives furious. Sean Hannity saying he can't wait to get out of New York. Get this, Texas is already putting out the welcome mat for Hannity.

Sean Hannity joins us. Nice to see you, Sean.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST, 'HANNITY': Greta, how are you. Good to see you.

VAN SUSTEREN: Good to see you, sir.


HANNITY: You were smart. You got out a long time ago.


VAN SUSTEREN: Indeed. What's the story? Are you leaving New York?

HANNITY: Look, it's funny because the news picked this up -- got picked up by Breitbart last night, comments I made on my radio show. I think people might have interpreted it that I'm leaving the next day. If I could, I probably would but I would like to consider myself a responsible person. And by my count, there's probably over 100 people that count on me between radio and television for their jobs and they have got mortgages and car payments and leases and rents and all this stuff. But I went home last night and my wife and I talked about this seriously. I live in New York, Greta. I pay 40 percent taxes, the highest rated federal level. That doesn't include FICA, Social Security. You've got nearly 10 percent in state taxes. I work in New York City. I pay a New York City tax. I live in the second-highest property tax county in the country, which is Nassau County. About 62 percent is my taxable rate of every dollar that I make. And, you know what? It's too much. It's almost like I am facilitating the robbery of the hard-earned money that I'm making. I'm not going to do it anymore. As soon as I am able, some time probably when my son graduates from high school, I'm getting out of here as quick as I can.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Well, it sounds like Andrew Cuomo would like to see you go. It was interesting though. He was talking about extreme candidates, was what he says was. But the interesting thing is he says there is no place for extreme candidates in New York State. Candidates, yet, Angela Davis, who is a Communist is in New York at a Martin Luther King holiday and no one is objecting to her.

HANNITY: It's worse than that. The new mayor of New York is right there. It's the united socialist state of New York. There is no higher tax state. Greta, if you go to a restaurant in New York, forget about getting a large Coke, which they have now banned. If you want salt, they are not allowed to put it on the table. You have to request salt separately because the nanny state of New York and New York City, they decide what's best for you.

But what he said is -- and this is really important -- and we are going to get into this tonight at 10:00 -- because when he goes on to say those that are right to right-to-life pro-assault weapons and anti-gay, well, I'm pro-life and I am pro-Second Amendment. And I have Barack Obama's position two years ago on the issue of traditional marriage. So does that mean that the cardinal of New York at St. Patrick's, he is not welcome here? Every priest? Every brother? Every nun? Every Catholic? Every Christian that's pro-life in New York? Is he insulting everybody that's a person of faith now? There is no free, open exchange of ideas and ideals and opinions? That is a sad state of affairs. Liberals are not the tolerant people that they proclaim to be, Greta. This is a sad moment.

VAN SUSTEREN: In the press release that came out of his office in response to the "New York Post" article, his counsel said, "The governor has never demonized the opposition to his gun law nor stance of protecting choice or marriage equality. The governor is a gun owner and a Catholic."

HANNITY: Well, it's not the position of the Catholic Church. His father did this when he spoke at Notre Dame in the 1980s and he tried to say I'm pro-life but I can't impose that on people. I will let him take that up with his priest, his bishop, and maybe the cardinal himself. But that is not the position of the church.

On the issue of guns, Greta, it's so restrictive in New York, I have carried -- I was a marksman since I'm 12 years old because my parents were in law enforcement. I carried guns in New York, Rhode Island, California, Alabama, and Georgia more than half of my adult life. This governor actually passed a law where you couldn't have more than seven bullets in a gun because he said nobody in New York City needs 10 bullets to shoot a deer, as he says. There aren't many deer in New York City the last time I have seen. Maybe in upstate, maybe in Long Island. He is very restrictive. It's their way or the highway. I look at --


HANNITY: How does Texas have a $12 billion surplus and they are in debt up to their eyeballs in Albany when they have a 10 percent state income tax? And there's no --


VAN SUSTEREN: Quick question.


VAN SUSTEREN: Quick question. Donald Trump, is he going to run for governor in New York and would you support him?

HANNITY: I would support Donald Trump for governor. I would support Mayor Rudy Giuliani for governor. I know the Donald is really thinking about it. I hope he does it because I think he understands how to create a positive business climate.

You know, I have some numbers here. Real quick, I know you have got it run. In the last census, Greta, 3.4 million residents of New York, they left the state, the highest exodus of any state in the country. And if you look at New Jersey, they have similar tax situation there, $70 billion in wealth left the state of New Jersey in a five year period. That's people making their money. They are going to the Carolinas, Florida, Texas. They are going anywhere where there is less bureaucratic regulation, government interference and high taxes. They are leaving.

VAN SUSTEREN: Sean, thank you very much. I will see you at 10:00 p.m. for "Hannity."

HANNITY: Thanks.