Rubio rejects 'establishment' label; Trump supporter: Cruz campaign acted 'recklessly' in Iowa

Florida senator says he is not a favorite of big dollar donors, reacts to Cruz, Carson controversy on 'Hannity'


This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," February 3, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And welcome to "Hannity." And tonight, Florida Senator Marco Rubio is riding a wave of momentum into New Hampshire after a strong third place showing in the state of Iowa. According to a new poll out of the Granite State, Donald Trump is out front with 38 percent of the vote, Ted Cruz in second with 14 percent, followed by Marco Rubio in third place with 12 percent, followed by Jeb Bush, John Kasich and Chris Christie.

So with just six days to go before the New Hampshire primary, what's Rubio's strategy? Can he shake up the Republican race? Here to answer that, the man himself, 2016 GOP presidential candidate Senator Marco Rubio.

How are you, sir?

SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLA., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm doing well. Thank you, Sean.

HANNITY: All right, let's start with your take on you feel about Iowa. A lot of people -- look, Iowa polls have been historically awful. They had you at 15 percent. You came in at 23 percent, a lot of -- obviously, a strong showing. What are your thoughts about how Iowa went?

RUBIO: Well, we were very satisfied. We worked very hard there.  Obviously, we knew that we weren't the front-runner. I know Ted Cruz has spent a lot of money and time in Iowa, and I congratulate him on his win.  But we knew we had an uphill climb, and we fought through it and we outperformed everyone's expectations. Our campaign kept growing. You saw the exit polls showed that the majority of people who made up their mind at the end decided our way. And we felt that momentum, and we feel it here in New Hampshire and we are very confident.

And at the end, if you think about it, in Iowa, you know, the winner, Ted Cruz, got eight delegates. We got seven. Donald Trump got seven. So we're basically just one delegate away here, and the count obviously just one state. But we're going to continue to work on it because I'm working to be the Republican nominee, and I'm confident that when all the delegates are counted up, we're going to have more than half of them and we'll be the nominee.

HANNITY: All right, so we have a big controversy emerging. I call it the Carson-Cruz-Trump controversy as it relates to a -- news reports that came out on Iowa caucus day that said that Ben Carson was not going to New Hampshire or South Carolina. He'd go to Florida for several days, and then he'd go to Washington.

And that got sent around by the Cruz campaign, and there was one report that even your campaign sent the news around and that some were saying, Oh, Ben Carson's pulling out.

What's your take on this?

RUBIO: First of all, my campaign never sent that news around. That's false. And number two...

HANNITY: No, not the news -- I meant the news that, in fact, that was reported, not -- not -- not that he was getting out.

RUBIO: Right. Well, I think the fundamental -- the deeper problem was that there were people on the ground in Iowa related to the Cruz campaign that were going around telling people at caucus sites that Ben Carson was dropping out so that in the hopes that they'd switch their vote.

And we heard it from a handful of people at some of the caucuses we went to, as well, that they had been told that. And Ted, I understand, has apologized for his campaign's involvement in that. And I understand Ben has accepted it, but he's still upset.

I think to me, it's an indication of a campaign that's willing to say or do anything in order to win, and it's troubling and unfortunate. I think Ben deserves more than that. He's worked very hard in this campaign. He's a fine gentleman and an upstanding person, and I thought he deserved better.

But ultimately, you know, we'll continue to move forward here on our campaign. We feel good about the way things are going. But it's one of those unfortunate things that happens and an unfair thing, really.

HANNITY: All right, let me -- we began a discussion on radio that I'd like to bring to the TV airwaves tonight, earlier today. So in 2010, you're the outsider. You're the insurgent candidate. You're the Tea Party favorite.  And you win the election. You were supported by all the Tea Party, if I remember correctly. And the narrative on Monday night, caucus night, is that, Oh, it looks like there will be a coalescing of the establishment around Marco Rubio.

Now, the only issue that I really see the conservatives have had with you is on the issue of comprehensive immigration reform. I don't think you in this insurgency year want to be labeled establishment. Am I right about that?

RUBIO: Yes. Well, it's not an accurate label. I reject all these labels.  Those are the things the media comes up with because it makes it easier for them to cover the political news.

Here's the facts. When I ran for the Senate in 2010, I ran against the leadership in the Republican Party in the Senate, and we won, as you recall, Sean. You watched that very closely, that race. I was running against the sitting governor of Florida, and I was 50 points down in the polls.

Even now that I'm running for president, it's the same establishment, many of the same people that have lined up against me. I've had over close to $40 million now from Jeb Bush's super-PAC have attacked me. And I'm not complaining, I'm just pointing out the fact that that money did not come from the grass roots. Those are big, multi-million-dollar checks written by people in the establishment.

They didn't want me to run. They stood in the way -- they tried to stand in the way of me running this time. I referred to it on Monday night in Iowa, how they told me I needed to wait my turn.

That being said, when I'm our nominee, I will unite the Republican Party.  We can't win if we're not united, and not only unite it, but grow it. We have to take our conservative movement to millions of Americans that haven't voted for us, especially people struggling economically, because the political left, the liberals like Hillary Clinton and socialists like Bernie Sanders, have lied to struggling Americans telling them big government is better for them.

And look at the Obama economy, record number of people on public assistance, record number of people dropping out of the labor force. So I won't just unite the Republican Party, I will grow the conservative movement when I'm our nominee.

HANNITY: Yes, maybe -- is it that they hate you less than Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, meaning the establishment? In other words, you're saying they're throwing all this money at you. Why would -- I don't really fully understand why you're saying Jeb Bush's super-PAC is spending all the money against you. Why do you think that is?

RUBIO: I have no idea. You'll have to ask them why, and it's, you know, like anybody else. But I'm not complaining. Look, and you get into this race, people want to come after you. They have a right to do it under the 1st Amendment.

HANNITY: The position you're in, you've got people on the top not wanting you to get to that top level. Then you got people on the bottom that want to be where you are. And you seem to be getting hit from all sides.

Let me -- let me just play a little bit of the attacks that you've been experiencing.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, R-N.J., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know who the boy in the bubble is (INAUDIBLE) who never answers your questions, who's constantly scripted and controlled because he can't answer your questions.  So when Senator Rubio gets here, when the boy in the bubble gets here, I hope you guys ask him some questions.

SEN. TED CRUZ , R-TEXAS, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Marco made the decision, the conscious, deliberate decision, not only not to lead the fight against amnesty, but to go and stand with Barack Obama and Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid and to lead the fight for amnesty!

DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I came in second, and people said, Oh, that was a disappointing evening for Donald Trump. But Marco Rubio -- good guy, by the way -- - came in third, and they're saying he had this unbelievable evening. And by the way, I came in second by a lot of votes, like over 2,000 votes. That's a lot of votes.

JEB BUSH , R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Marco Rubio came in third place in a caucus state, and we're all supposed to bow out? That is just absolutely absurd.


HANNITY: I think you're in a tough spot. The top guys don't want you to get up, and the bottom guys want to be where you are. That's not exactly fun!


RUBIO: Yes. Well, usually, you know, Sean, as you know, in politics, people don't waste time or money attacking you if you're not doing something well. And obviously, they -- for whatever reason, for the most part, everybody except Donald there attacked me. And these are people that must feel like I'm a threat to their ambition to win. And that's fine.  That means we're doing something right.

Here's my point. If there's a policy difference with an of these people, we're going to talk about it because this is an important election and we can't elect someone to the White House that supported Sonia Sotomayor or someone that's trying to force Common Core on us or someone that will say or do anything to get elected. But we'll talk about the policy differences.

But by and large, I am not in this to beat up on Republicans. I'm in this because I will beat Hillary Clinton, and the Democrats and Hillary know this. They don't want to run against me. They know that I am the strongest candidate against them because I can grow the conservative movement, and they don't want to run against me.

But I can't wait to run against her. We got to get through this primary, and we will, and I'm confident that if I'm our nominee, we will beat Hillary Clinton, or for that matter, Bernie Sanders. And then we'll have a chance to undo the damage that this president continues to do to this country!

HANNITY: All right, we only have about 20 seconds. How do you define success in New Hampshire?

RUBIO: Well, that's an interesting question. I mean, for us, we just continue to work hard. I'm about to speak to about 400 people here in New Hampshire. We keep doing that in events, four a day, and the bottom line is we want to get as many people to vote for us as possible, get as many delegates as we can in this process, and move forward and go on to South Carolina and then Nevada and then the early states March 1st.

I just keep working hard every day trying to get as many people to vote for me. We'll see where that leads. Ultimately, elections...

HANNITY: All right...

RUBIO: ... like everything in life, is in God's hands. So whatever God's will is we'll accept. But we're going to work hard.

HANNITY: All right, Senator. Always appreciate your time. Thanks for being on with us.

RUBIO: Thanks, Sean.

HANNITY: And coming up, former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich -- he is with reaction to the 2016 race.

And then later tonight...


TRUMP: He did it on purpose, and then he apologized after all the votes were counted. That's thousands of votes that were taken away, which, by the way, would have given me -- in my opinion, would have given me the election.

CRUZ: Donald Trump guaranteed a victory in Iowa, and then he lost. And he doesn't like that.


HANNITY: Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz continue their war of words.

Plus, tonight...


HOWARD DEAN, 2004 DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're going to South Dakota and Oregon and Washington and Michigan! And then we're going to Washington, D.C., to take back the White House! YEEEEEAAARGH!


HANNITY: Is Hillary starting to sound like Howard Dean on the campaign trail? Howard Dean says the attacks against her is based on gender.

That and more tonight right here on "Hannity."



HANNITY: And welcome back to "Hannity." We have more bad news for the Democrats heading into the 2016 general election. Quoting the Gallup, red states now outnumber blue states, now, for the first time since the company began tracking the data eight years ago.

Now, there are now 20 states that are solid red or leaning Republican compared to just 14 that are solid blue or lean Democrat. Now, to put it in perspective, back in 2008, the ratio was 35 to 5 in favor of the Democrats.

Here with analysis, the author of the best-selling book "Duplicity." He's a former speaker of the House,, FOX News contributor Newt Gingrich.

That -- that coupled with enthusiasm and a real record-breaking number of people showing up on the Republican side for the Iowa caucuses, and Democrats down 25 percent from '08 -- that seems like a huge momentum shift in the country. How do you read it?

NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think that's what Gallup was reporting today, and the Gallup folks thought this was very historic data. It matches what the Republican state leadership committee has been discovering at the legislative and local level, where there are now more Republican state legislators than any time in the entire history of the Republican Party going back to 1854.

So something's happening below the presidency because the Washington news media's so focused on the White House, they haven't noticed this transition.

But you're point was right. If you look at the Gallup data, it goes from 35 to 5 in favor of the Democrats, to 20 to 16 in favor of the Republicans.  That is an earthquake in terms of political situations, and it means whether it's the House, the Senate or the presidency, Republicans are going in with a lot of advantages. And as you pointed out, the 185,000 people who turned out, beating the Democrats, by the way, who had 171,000 turnout -- that is the largest number in the history of the Republican Party in the Iowa caucus.

Not only did Ted Cruz get the most votes of any Republican in history, but Donald Trump coming in second got the second most votes of anybody in history. So it's a big deal. And the state chairman was reporting -- Jeff Kaufman (ph) was reporting on "FOX and Friends" Monday morning that there have been thousands of people switch from Democrat and independent to Republican to be able to participate. And he said they were getting, like, 100 phone calls an hour at the state headquarters...

HANNITY: All right, let me...

GINGRICH: ... people wanting to join the Republican Party.

HANNITY: All right, then you had on the Democratic side -- there's been so much talk about the Republican side, I'll ask you again in a second -- Hillary wins six coin flips. Without those wins -- why are you laughing? - - Bernie gets more delegates than she does. He wins!

Then you've got Hillary now -- it's only 49.8 to 49.7. The Iowa Democratic Party won't give out the final vote tally. And then you've got Bob Woodward lecturing Hillary to stop screaming. I'll play that in a second.  And her supporters are nervous. And then you got this e-mail scandal thing on the side.

What do you make of this if she can't beat Bernie in Iowa?

GINGRICH: Well, first of all, when you realize that people under 30 voted 84 to 14 in favor of Bernie Sanders, that's 6 to 1 in favor of Bernie Sanders, you get a sense of how much Hillary's turning off the next generation and how hard a general election is going to be for her.

I was very surprised. Callista and I watched her speech the other night, and I thought she was so angry.

HANNITY: Let me...

GINGRICH: It was almost like, you know...

HANNITY: Let me play it because this -- I think this is worth playing again. I thought not only angry, but now she sounded more left than Bernie, which she had never sounded like before. Watch this.


HILLARY CLINTON, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I know we can create more good-paying jobs and raise incomes for hard-working Americans again. I know that we can finish the job of universal health care coverage for every single man, woman and child!


CLINTON: I know we can combat climate change and be the clean energy superpower of the 21st century!


CLINTON; I know we can make college affordable and get student debt off the backs of young people!



HANNITY: All right, how -- that is so bad!


HANNITY: The only thing missing was the Howard Dean scream.

GINGRICH: Well, first of all -- first of all, the obvious question to ask her is, if you knew all that, why didn't Barack Obama do it in eight years?

HANNITY: Great question. And...

GINGRICH: Why didn't you share -- why didn't you share your knowledge with Barack Obama?

HANNITY: That's an awesome question. When she comes on, I'll ask her.

GINGRICH: You know, she could have sent him an unclassified e-mail.


HANNITY: I think you -- I think you probably -- no, she was actually talking about cyber-security today, and I had to laugh.

GINGRICH: I think that is -- that is the greatest act of chutzpah I can remember any candidate in modern times engaging in. I mean, for her to talk about cyber-security is just a sign that she is totally out of touch with reality. And I'll bet you everyone in that audience was sitting there going, Let me get this straight. You sent over 1,500 secret or top secret documents, but you want us to think about cyber-security.

HANNITY: I can see a criminal referral from the FBI and a lot of chaos ensuing after that.

All right, let's go to the Republican side. Your take, your analysis, and what do you make of this Cruz-Trump-Carson dust-up?

GINGRICH: Well, let me say first of all, as you'll remember, because we talked about it at the time, I thought Trump made a mistake not going to the debate. I think it's pretty clear that a few more resources on field organization and going to the debate, he probably would have won. I hope he's learned a lesson from that.

I think that the Cruz people did make a mistake. I think that they ended up putting themselves in a position where Dr. Carson is now going to have the best of that argument and probably made it harder for Dr. Carson to endorse Cruz, should he ever decide not to be in the race. So I think that was a boo-boo.

But I'll tell you what I'm bothered by right now, and I just say this openly because I think Trump is off on the wrong foot. Trump is at his best when he's big. He's at his best when he's talking about protecting America, making America great, creating jobs.

I think to get down in this fight with Cruz is very much to Trump's disadvantage. Let it go. Go back to being the Donald Trump that was so dramatically far ahead everywhere in the country, and don't get involved in this kind of nitpicking stuff. I don't think it helps him. I think people get tired of it. It's like a bad vaudeville act you've already heard it twice. You don't need it again. And I think he's making a mistake.

Now, it may not hurt him in New Hampshire because New Hampshire's not very good ground for Cruz to fight on, but it continues to create space for Marco Rubio and others to grow and to become more competitive. I think that part's just wrong.

HANNITY: What do you think of Marco -- now, both Cruz and Trump are saying, Oh, nobody's -- you know, the bronze is new gold I guess because he exceeded -- why -- why are you laughing tonight? That's what they're saying.

GINGRICH: Well, first of all, Rubio had the cleverness to come on first, to act as though he had won and to give a very short, very direct speech of all of his key campaign points at a point where the East Coast was still watching television. You got to give him some credit that he saw his opportunity, took it, and he did it pretty well with it.

Here's the thing that's been hitting me all day, Sean. And you'll really appreciate this because you were part of it. On caucus day, you had Cruz, Trump and Carson, who we all agree are outsiders, and they were about 63 percent of the total vote, which is pretty amazing.

However, the guy who came in third was the Tea Party candidate...

HANNITY: In 2010.

GINGRICH: ... insurgent...


GINGRICH: ... in 2010 against the national senatorial committee's hand- picked governor, who was the establishment candidate. So what's happened is the battlefield has been changed so dramatically that the center is now the Tea Party, and to the more, you know, change-oriented side, you get Trump, Cruz and Carson. That is a pretty -- and then way over here, you got the guys aren't much for change.

HANNITY: I just...

GINGRICH: That's an amazing historic fact.

HANNITY: And I brought that up with Marco Rubio twice today. Well pointed out.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Appreciate it, as always.

GINGRICH: Good to be with you.

HANNITY: Coming up next tonight on this busy news night here on "Hannity"...


TRUMP: He did it on purpose. And then he apologized after all the votes were counted. That's thousands of votes that were taken away, which, by the way, would have given me -- in my opinion, would have given me the election.

CRUZ: Donald Trump guaranteed a victory in Iowa, and then he lost. And he doesn't like that.


HANNITY: No love lost between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. The candidates are unleashing new attacks on each other in their growing feud.

And then later tonight...


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Of course, recently, we've heard inexcusable political rhetoric against Muslim Americans that has no place in our country.


HANNITY: Obama speaking earlier today at the Islamic Society of Baltimore that apparently has controversial ties and a controversial background.  We'll get reaction to that and much more straight ahead.


HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." So Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz are at it again. Earlier today, Trump accused the Texas senator of stealing the Iowa caucuses from him. Watch this.


TRUMP: What he did with the "voter violation" statement, looking like it came from a government, was a fraud, and I think it's a disgrace that he did it.

But what he did to Dr. Ben Carson, a very good person, where he said, He left the race, vote for us, I think that's something that is really very serious.

Now, I know the one situation is now being investigated by authorities in Iowa, the "Voter Violation" form. And that's being under serious investigation. But I think they should probably throw him out of Iowa because I don't think -- what he did is a disgrace. And it's a disgrace to the electoral process, to be honest with you, Greta.


HANNITY: All right, senator Ted Cruz is not backing down in the war of words and let his Republican rival have it earlier today during a press conference. Take a look at this.


CRUZ: It is no surprise that Donald is throwing yet another temper tantrum, or if you like, another Trumper-tantrum. Donald Trump guaranteed a victory in Iowa, and then he lost. And he doesn't like that.

There's a reason that Donald engages in insult after insult, because he can't debate the substance. I wake up every day and laugh at the latest thing Donald has tweeted because he's losing it. That's not the temperament of a leader to keep this country safe. My girls are 5 and 7, and I got to tell you, Caroline (ph) and Catherine (ph) are better behaved than a presidential candidate who responds by insulting everyone every day when he loses.


HANNITY: All right, here with reaction, attorney, political analyst and Trump supporter David Wohl and the communications director for the Cruz campaign, Rick Tyler, with us.

All right, one of the things I think we've got to go back to is that this was reported numerous news outlets, for example, CNN. Let's play that tape.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A week from tomorrow, we're all going to be doing this again for the New Hampshire primary, so almost every single candidate is going to be going directly from here to New Hampshire...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... to campaign, except for the man in fourth place, who a few months ago was in first place here, Dr. Ben Carson.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ben Carson is going to go back to Florida, to his home, regardless of how he does tonight here in Iowa. He's going there for several days, and then afterwards, he's not going to go to South Carolina, he's not going to go to New Hampshire, he's going to come to Washington, D.C.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's very unusual.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To be announcing that you're going home to rest for a few days, not going on to the next site.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you want to be president of the United States, you don't go home to Florida. I mean, that's just bottom line. That's the end of the story.


HANNITY: All right, Rick Tyler, why don't you walk us through. You're in the Cruz campaign.


HANNITY: Some are saying that, well, you guys went out there and said Ben Carson is dropping out. Is that true?

TYLER: No. Look, it was a legitimate news story, Sean, we reported it to our campaign important new developments in the campaign. And so the idea that Dr. Carson would not leave Iowa and he would go right -- go right to Florida instead of going to New Hampshire or South Carolina -- that's a legitimate news story. That's something that we shared. But we never said or speculated, nor did CNN, that he was dropping out.

HANNITY: What's your reaction to that, David?

DAVID WOHL, ATTORNEY AND POLITICAL ANALYST: So yes, Sean, let me get this straight. So you want information on the status of Ben Carson's campaign.  You don't call Ben Carson's campaign. You rely on rumor and innuendo being passed around by CNN reporters, which is what they did. And then they recklessly passed this recklessly unconfirmed information to voters in Iowa and not just said, you know, Don't vote for Ben Carson. He's gone. He's not in the campaign anymore. But vote for us.

And I got to say, Sean, that is not only potentially civilly actionable in this matter, but it's a potential crime when you recklessly dissuade voters from voting for a candidate with...

HANNITY: OK, so...

WOHL: ... knowingly false information or false information that is recklessly unconfirmed!

HANNITY: All right, Rick?

TYLER: OK. OK, he didn't come to New Hampshire and he didn't come to South Carolina. And he was in Washington, D.C., today, just like CNN reported. So what is actionable? I mean, that's preposterous.

WOHL: Well, CNN reported -- CNN reported, Well, this must mean that he's done. That's what they were saying...

TYLER: No, they didn't say that.

WOHL: ... in not so many words.


WOHL: Did you call Ben's campaign and ask him?


HANNITY: David, let me ask you this question...

WOHL: Is -- did -- so the question would be...

HANNITY: Go ahead. But David, I want to ask this question. But it was widely reported in the news media. You don't dispute that.

WOHL: It was widely speculated upon, Sean. And when you're talking about a man who has worked so hard on his campaign, who has developed such a passionate, large following...

HANNITY: All right...

WOHL: ... who's made so much progress...

TYLER: Then don't go home.

WOHL: ... to just say that he's gone and done with...

TYLER: Go to New Hampshire or South Carolina.

WOHL: He just went home to get new clothes! He went to get refreshed clothes. He didn't say he was dropping out. Why not call the man himself?

TYLER: Has he been in New Hampshire?

WOHL: Before you spread the rumor. He is going to New Hampshire.

TYLER: Has he been in New Hampshire?

WOHL: That's a positive, that's an absolute, definite reality.

TYLER: So did he go to New Hampshire. Did he go to South Carolina?

WOHL: He went to his home in Florida.

TYLER: He didn't go to South Carolina.

WOHL: Which is what he said he would do.

TYLER: That's right. That's what CNN reported.

WOHL: Did you call him and confirm that he was dropping out? No. That's reckless.

TYLER: Apparently it was true.

WOHL: That's false.

HANNITY: Hang on.

WOHL: It is not true. He hasn't dropped out.

TYLER: Today's Wednesday. Tomorrow --

HANNITY: Rick, in retrospect, do you think maybe you should have called the Carson campaign?

WOHL: You think? He apologized, also.

HANNITY: Hang on.

WOHL: Cruz apologized.

HANNITY: Do you think in retrospect the campaign, you know, I guess it's just an indictment on the media, too. But, Rick, what are your thoughts?

TYLER: Well, look. I want to be clear. What CNN said was true. He didn't come to New Hampshire or South Carolina. But moreover, there might have been someone in our campaign who might have speculated -- who would have speculated that he was going to drop out. If that happened, that is what Ted Cruz apologized about.

But the facts remain the same. Ben Carson did not come to New Hampshire and he did not go to South Carolina. He went to Florida, and today he is in D.C. And what was said was that's sort of like skipping the playoffs and expecting to go to the Super Bowl. So, look, that's just what happened.

WOHL: No. You know what it is? What happens is Cruz is now set his foot down and basically set a standard for his campaign this he's going to resort to sleaze and potentially civilly actionable criminal conduct to get a victory. That's what he did.

TYLER: The standard is if you want to win -- no. The standard is if you want to win New Hampshire voters you come and campaign in New Hampshire.  You want to win secretary voters you go to South Carolina, you come and campaign.

WOHL: What has that got to do with whether or not you guys told voters in Iowa that he had dropped out, vote for us? How -- what does that got to do with anything?

TYLER: We didn't say that.

WOHL: You did.

TYLER: We didn't speculate. We didn't.

HANNITY: We're going to leave it there, guys.

TYLER: That didn't happen.

HANNITY: Thank you both for being with us.

TYLER: And up next tonight, right here on "Hannity" --


OBAMA: Of course, recently we have heard inexcusable political rhetoric against Muslim-American that is has no place in our country.


HANNITY: The president attacking Republicans while giving a speech at a mosque that had questionable ties to extremism. That's coming up next.

And then later tonight --


DEAN: We're going to South Dakota and Oregon and Washington and Michigan! And then we're going to Washington, D.C. to take back the White House!


HANNITY: Remember the "Dean scream" in 2004? Is Hillary starting to sound like that? We'll debate it straight ahead.


HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." So earlier today the president visited a Baltimore mosque and consoled Muslims across America for the way they've been treated by their fellow Americans. Watch this.


OBAMA: So the first thing I want to say is two words that Muslim Americans don't hear often enough, and that is thank you. Your entire community so often is targeted or blamed for the violent acts of the very few. And of course recently we have heard inexcusable political rhetoric against Muslim-Americans. Around the country, women wearing the hijab, just like Saba, have been targeted. We have seen children bullied. We have seen mosques vandalized. When any part of our family starts to feel separate or second class or targeted, it tears at the very fabric of our nation.


OBAMA: For more than 1,000 years people have been drawn to Islam's message of peace, and the very word itself "Islam" comes from "Salam," peace.


HANNITY: Here with reaction from the Islamic House of Wisdom Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi, and the president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy Zuhdi Jasser.

Imam, let me ask you a question, is it legitimate -- because I don't know what inexcusable rhetoric that the president specifically is talking about.  I wish he would have been more specific. But is it legitimate criticism to go after radical Islamists? Is it legitimate criticism to go after many Muslim countries that have atrocious human rights records towards women and gays and lesbians and don't allow freedom of worship? You can't build a synagogue or a church. Is that a legitimate criticism of Islam under Islamic law, Sharia, Islamic countries?

IMAM MOHAMMAD ALI ELAHI, ISLAMIC HOUSE OF WISDOM: Sean, for answering this question, I think now that is your turn to bring FOX News and Hannity to the House of Wisdom. Our building is not as big, but we have magnificent members --

HANNITY: Did I ask you a question? We don't have a lot of time.

ELAHI: We have more -- than Sharia, by the way.

HANNITY: Muslim countries -- whoa, whoa. So my question, I'll ask it again. Is it legitimate to criticize radical Islamists and criticize --

ELAHI: I can say --

HANNITY: -- and criticize Muslims countries that have atrocious human rights records towards women, gays and lesbians, and religious minorities?  Is that legitimate to you?

ELAHI: If you let me answer I would answer.

HANNITY: I'm waiting.

ELAHI: That, Sean, today after listening to the president, I'm more proud than ever of the --

HANNITY: Did I ask you if you're proud? Did I ask you if you're proud?

ELAHI: The power of points of presidents --

HANNITY: So you won't answer.

ELAHI: The power of diplomacy, the power of dignity is much more forceful than the atomic bomb. If we mean making relationship, partnership --

HANNITY: I'll finish one more time. Is it -- are Islamic countries --

ELAHI: -- then that's another issue, may God guide us. But if you mean relationship, that was a very powerful message.

HANNITY: You didn't answer one single question I've asked you, so I'll go to Dr. Jasser. Dr. Jasser, is it legitimate to criticize radical Islamists? Is it legitimate to criticize the life of minorities in Muslim countries under Sharia which is so oppressive? Is that legitimate to you?

DR. ZUHDI JASSER, AMERICAN ISLAMIC FORUM FOR DEMOCRACY: Yes, not only is it legitimate. If you're going to treat Muslims as equals and treat us as adults and not infantilize us, absolutely you need to do that. And by the way, the mosque he went to, he has the same paradigm with Iran and Saudi Arabia like you mentioned. He calls them Islamic, but ISIS isn't Islamic.  He goes to a mosque where two years ago they had a sermon from a sheik who basically said homosexuals are deviants. They need to be eradicated from society. They separate men and women there.

We had Muslims from the reform movement outside that mosque today protesting saying, you know, listen. We Muslims want to be held accountable to the same principles you hold the Christian brothers and sisters, Jewish, Sikh, et cetera. But yet we're treated like children, and meanwhile Imams like Mr. Elahi are insulting Americans and not applying the reform that we need to have.

ELAHI: I'm not insulting. I'm very proud of our people.

HANNITY: You're --

ELAHI: I'm proud of American citizens.

JASSER: You're joking around about something that's radicalizing Muslims.

ELAHI: Doctor, I'm agreement 100 percent when you said you mentioned Saudi Arabia. I'm saying now, Mr. President, it is time --

JASSER: How about Iran? Do you agree with me on Iran?

ELAHI: Let me finish. Time to turn --

JASSER: How about Iran?

ELAHI: -- this vision to work. Let us turn this talk to walk, and let us put these ideas in action. And, Mr. President, you are --

JASSER: Are you against all theocracy? How about separating men and women in mosques?

ELAHI: Let me finish, please.

HANNITY: Answer his question. Imam, Imam.

ELAHI: Pick up your --

HANNITY: Answer Zuhdi's question. Answer Zuhdi's question.

ELAHI: Stop -- I'm answering your question.

HANNITY: No, you're not. You haven't answered a single question.

ELAHI: You know, Sean, is this the way you listen to your pastor? I don't know. I'm an imam.


ELAHI: I'm talking as an imam. Please.

HANNITY: I should allow you to -- Imam, I have a question. Do you find Islam oppressive to women, to gays and lesbians, and to religious minorities in predominantly Muslim countries, in many of them?

ELAHI: If any time Islam was used for oppression and injustice, that is not Islam.

HANNITY: Can you name the countries? Because I can.

ELAHI: If it is not justice, it is not Islam.

HANNITY: This is double speak.

JASSER: How about Iran?


HANNITY: How about Iran?


JASSER: You seem to be selectively --

ELAHI: If Iran, if Iran exercise injustice, I criticize Iran, as well. I am for -- I am for justice.

HANNITY: You're saying if, if, if, if, but, but, but, but, caveat, caveat.

ELAHI: Principle, principle.

HANNITY: No principle.

ELAHI: Any time you go --

JASSER: Do you think women should be at the back of the mosque? Do you think women have a right to disagree with you?

HANNITY: Answer that question.

ELAHI: Of course has right. Yes, of course.

JASSER: Do you think women should be at the back of the mosque, Imam, like they were in this mosque that he went to insult Muslims that that's the standard?

ELAHI: Women are part of the board, even chairing our board meeting.

HANNITY: We have to go.

ELAHI: What are you talking about?

HANNITY: Zuhdi, thank you for being with us, appreciate it.

And coming up next right here tonight on "Hannity" --


DEAN: We're going to South Dakota and Oregon and Washington and Michigan!  And then we're going to Washington, D.C. to take back the White House!


HANNITY: All right, remember the Howard Dean scream? Well, is Hillary Clinton starting to sound like that? That debate straight ahead.



CLINTON: I know we can create more good paying jobs and raisin come for hard working Americans again. I know that we can finish the job of universal health care coverage for every single man, woman, and child.


CLINTON: I know we can combat climate change and be the clean energy superpower of the 21 century.


CLINTON: I know we can make college affordable and get student debt off the backs of young people.


HANNITY: There was Hillary sounding off during a speech in Iowa earlier this week, and earlier today, Howard Dean, well, defended Hillary. Watch this.


DEAN: She's tough as hell and she will make a great president. That's why I want her to be president.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would he agree though that there is a communications problem on television?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't think that?

DEAN: Look. I'm going to say this and I'm going to get jumped for it, but I've got to do it. If she were a male and she were making these speeches, would people be criticizing her?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my God, that's desperate.


HANNITY: All right, playing the gender card. Here with reaction, Fox News contributor Katie Pavlich, Democratic strategist Jessica Erlich is with us.  Even Bob Woodward, Katie, said she needs to lower the temperature and get off the screaming stuff. Why do they race to the gender card all the time?  That was a legitimate criticism. That was awful.

KATIE PAVLICH, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Hillary, you have a microphone.  There is no reason to yell. That's what microphones are for.


PAVLICH: Look, Howard Dean of all people should understand this is not a sexist issue. His campaign essentially imploded after he acted shrill, we should say, on the campaign trail, his famous yell. After that his campaign was essentially over. And So I think Bob Woodward's advice is good when he tells Hillary why don't you tone it down a little bit. Let's get on the same page in terms of communication. She has a communications problem not just with Democrats but also with the rest of the country. She is not likable and she's trying too hard here. And again, microphones already accentuate your voice. We don't need you to be yelling.

HANNITY: You sound great on your microphone. Sounds perfect, pitch perfect.

PAVLICH: Thanks.

HANNITY: And speaking of the yell, he got criticized and took a big hit for this when he went this crazy.


DEAN: Not only are we going to New Hampshire, Tom Harkin. We're going to South Carolina and Oklahoma and Arizona and North Dakota, and New Mexico.  We're going to California, and Texas, and New York. And we're going to South Dakota and Oregon and Washington and Michigan. And then we're going to Washington, D.C. to take back the White House!



HANNITY: I mean, Jessica, I don't really see a big difference here. He got criticized for that.

JESSICA ERLICH, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: There is a difference. But I do love that. It takes me back.

HANNITY: Fond memories for you?

ERLICH: Absolutely. Absolutely. But to say that there is not an issue whether a woman and not in being criticized for your voice, whether you're a man or woman, yes, that happens. But certainly there is a difference in the way people hear you. And I don't have a problem with Hillary being in a rally with hundreds or thousands of people.

HANNITY: She's screaming. Even Bob Woodward, lower the temperature, get off the screaming stuff.

ERLICH: Everybody has an opinion about it. This is something that's talked about it all the time. Katie has a lovely, deep voice. I am constantly concerned about hearing my own voice.

HANNITY: But you're not yelling.

ERLICH: But there is a difference with women. It's called vocal fry. And there is a way when we're in large places even if you have a microphone where if you're trying to reach people in a gymnasium, in stadiums, we have different issues.

HANNITY: Maybe if she wasn't so angry, Katie.

PAVLICH: Let's be real. Let's just fact-check here. Hillary Clinton is not filling up large stadiums where she needs to yell into the microphone to reach all the people in the room. She's yelling at tens of supporters who are showing up to these events.

And yes, women tend to have a higher voice than men, but we criticize Ben Carson for being sleepy and boring as well. The criticism is for both the left and the right and to male and female. And if Hillary Clinton can't handle some criticism about her voice maybe being a little too grating, I'm not sure she can handle being president of the United States. And I guarantee you that Vladimir Putin and the Saudis and everyone else also think that her voice is grating and she's just going to have to deal with that. Or on the campaign she can take some advice and she can try and make a better impression when it comes to communication, which is the most important thing we have when trying to reach voters and get elected.

HANNITY: Best advice she can take. I've got to run. Katie, you nailed it. I'm sure they'll be taking notes on your good advice.

PAVLICH: Oh, yes.

HANNITY: Thank you both for being with us.

Coming up, we need your help. A very important "Question of the Day" is straight ahead.  


HANNITY: Time for our "Question of the Day." So who do you think will win the New Hampshire primary just one week from yesterday? Just go to Facebook.com/SeanHannity, @SeanHannity on Twitter, let us know what you think. That is all the time we have this evening. As always, thank you for being with us. We'll see you back here tomorrow night.

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