California Recall Update

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This is a partial transcript from Hannity & Colmes, September, 11 2003 that has been edited for clarity.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Joining us with the very latest on the California recall, California Congressman Chris Cox and the Mayor of Oakland, California, Jerry Brown.

Good to have you both with us again.

REP. CHRIS COX, R-Calif.: Nice to join you.

COLMES: Governor Brown, are you leaning toward any one particular candidate?

JERRY BROWN, MAYOR OF OAKLAND: Well, I'm definitely going against the recall. That's…I don't think we need it.

I think we've had several weeks now. And as these wannabe governors display their wares, I have yet to hear an answer to the budget problem, the university problem and the fact that felons by the tens of thousands are being dumped onto the streets of California, ill-prepared, angry, and worse in many cases before they even went into the...

COLMES: You'll vote no on the recall, but will you vote yes on something else?

BROWN: I might vote yes on Bustamante (search), yes.

COLMES: You might do that.

BROWN: Alan, right now it's no on the recall. We've still got a few weeks to go.

COLMES: Congressman Cox, you know, you're supporting Schwarzenegger.

COX: Indeed.

COLMES: And yet, you know, we had Tom McClintock (search) on this program last night. Takes too conservative positions. I don't understand why conservatives aren't supporting him in greater numbers.

COX: Well, you know, we have 135 candidates on the ballot, many of them Republicans. There was an editorial cartoon showing a car driving into California and it's across the state line, it said "Welcome to California, you're now running for governor."

The point is that we have to in the end pick someone. I've known Arnold Schwarzenegger for a long time and I know that he's going to be very, very solid on the one thing that besets California under Gray Davis and Bustamante more than anything else, and that is run-away spending, runaway taxes and jobs leaving the state in droves, workers' comp problems and this latest issue of a complete 180 on...

COLMES: That all sounds great...

COX: ... driver's licenses for people without any identification.

COLMES: ... but he hasn't come forward with any particular plan about the budget, any particular plan to attract business. He says he wants to bring business back. Of course he does. But he hasn't been specific at all.

COX: To the contrary, he's proposed a constitutional spending cap, something that I've pushed for years. We need it in the state of California; we need it for the United States of America, because you can see spending as a problem in Washington, as well.

I think that kind of leadership and Arnold Schwarzenegger's ability to get that message across to people like no one I've seen before in any party...

COLMES: Speaking of spending caps...

COX: ... is exactly what can pull this state out of the doldrums.

COLMES: Mayor Brown, you know, they talked about a constitutional amendment for a balanced budget in Washington a few years ago and those Republicans who did that are now spending way out of control, and we have incredible deficits now. Had they gotten what they wanted in terms of spending caps back then, we'd be in big trouble now.

BROWN: Well, I actually proposed the balanced budget amendment back in 1980, and I got roasted by you know who.

So yes, and limited is fine. But I'd like to get something more specific.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, look, when he first came out, I was pretty impressed. But now let's get down to some brass tacks here.

Workers' comp, how could he actually bring it down? Who's he going to restrict? The trial lawyers? The doctors? Permanent disability? Partial disability? Stress leave? There are ways of cutting it, but they all impinge on somebody and they're not popular.

Courage, if that's going to be what he's selling, is coming out there and telling it like it is.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST : Mr. Mayor, welcome back. Good to see you.

Congressman, good to see you, too.

You know, you said earlier, Mr. Mayor, that Arnold is not being specific. I take issue with that. He is being specific. And the first thing he said he'd do is a complete audit to find out where the areas of waste, fraud, and abuse are so he can knock them out of the budget, because we don't really know where things stand. Because we haven't gotten a full accounting of that.

He also said he wouldn't raise taxes as Bustamante has suggested, Bustamante saying he's going to raise taxes by a minimum of $8 billion.

And he did propose a spending cap, which will put caps and limits right away. So I mean, these are specific things he's saying.

BROWN: Respectfully, we know where the money is. The question is...

HANNITY: We don't, though. We really don't.

BROWN: I have to tell you, I've been governor. An audit is a waste of time. The question is where do you want to cut? If you want more revenue, who do you want to take it from? It's that simple.

Remember Ronald Reagan said, you know, "There are simple solutions. They're just hard."

HANNITY: Why are 40 percent plus of Democrats in every poll, every poll, Mr. Mayor, they're Democrats, not vast right-wing conspiracy Republicans like me, Democrats say he's got to go, he's been a bad governor for the state? Why?

BROWN: Why? Well, after being governor for a while...

HANNITY: That's a tough one, huh?

BROWN: Well, they probably would have recalled me if someone thought about it. So I'm very sympathetic here.

It's very simple. Gray is a bit stiff. Energy crisis, budget, an economy going in the tank. Put all that together and he's got a problem.

HANNITY: All right. And that's the point. He's already had four and a half years, Congressman Cox. The state is not in any better position, and the feeling among many Californian, the ones I'm talking to every day, is that he was dishonest in the last campaign. He knew they had these problems and he wouldn't tell the public about it.

COX: Well, as a matter of fact, he moved from pretending to sign a balanced budget right on the eve of the election to just a short while after the election saying, Oh my gosh, it was actually a $38 billion deficit and..."

HANNITY: Whoops.

COX: And I didn't realize it. You could pay up for half of the Iraq war that's coming up with the missing money there.

The pay to play in California is another thing that has people just absolutely outraged, the fact that a state completely under liberal Democratic governance, that allegedly likes campaign finance reform, is witnessing not just Gray Davis doing unprecedented pay to play but also Cruz Bustamante taking multimillion contributions with Indian tribes and labor unions and so on.

HANNITY: Mr. Mayor, I want to ask you this question. There's an ad going out by Gray Davis in an effort to attract Hispanic voters. And the ad features Davis in every shot, highlights support for Caesar Chavez Day, "I fought against Prop 187," extended medical care to our children, increased funds for schools, signed and authorized the driver's licenses for immigrants.

He opposed that twice, that bill, opposed it twice, a stronger bill than was ultimately that he just passed. Isn't that a great example? He's only signing it because he's pandering politically to a particular group? Isn't that disgusting in terms of the way for any leader to act, to do something like that?

BROWN: Well, I think reasonable minds can differ on that bill. But if you're asking is he signing that to get Mexican American votes, the answer is yes.

HANNITY: Clearly yes.

BROWN: He's only got one shot. He has to mobilize his base to go out and vote or he's history. He'll do everything he can...

HANNITY: What you're saying here...

BROWN: ... to get that group of people.

HANNITY: But Mr. Mayor, you're really…and I appreciate your honesty. You are admitting here he is selling out his principles, selling out…in this case I would argue it's a national security issue…for his own blind political ambition.

Why should anybody in California vote for somebody if they don't have core values and beliefs that they'll stand up for and be willing to lose on?

BROWN: Can I give you an alternative view? First of all, there are a lot of people who are just as smart as you and me who believe that...

HANNITY: But he's not one of them.

BROWN: He wasn't. But he's now supporting…well, he's switching his allegiance from what he was thinking before.

HANNITY: To get votes, to get power.

BROWN: Because before he was worrying about the conservative vote, you know, and now he's somewhat desperate. And if he doesn't mobilize all those other groups, he's not going to be there.

COLMES: Congressman...

BROWN: But you make a point.

COLMES: I want to talk about core values. I see conservatives who disagree with Arnold on almost every issue. Affirmative action, he wouldn't take a stance, on prop 54. On issues like Arnold's pro-choice; he's for gun control. You name the issue. He's against drilling off the coast. Almost every issue, right down the line...

COX: So am I.

COLMES: But in aggregate, these are issues that pretty much you would agree with McClintock on. But Republicans are supporting Arnold because that's the way they can get a Republican in Sacramento when you would almost never vote for a candidate with those array of positions in any other race.

Doesn't that sound disingenuous?

COX: The truth of the matter is that Arnold Schwarzenegger is going to get more done for what most Californians think is important than just about anybody I can imagine electing.

He already has the attention of the state on the important issue of workers' compensation. The mayor raised it earlier. We can adopt Arizona's law and immediately set ourselves right.

And who is the money going to come from? It is going to come from the trial lawyers, because while California doesn't rank very high in terms of how much money goes to injured workers, we are number one in terms of how much of our goes to the lawyers.

COLMES: Warren Buffett...talks about raising property taxes. Only McClintock would veto domestic partnerships and driver licenses for illegal aliens. Proposition 187, he had a different position than Arnold.

COX: That isn't true. That isn't true at all. Arnold Schwarzenegger has just said all week long that he, too, opposes...

COLMES: You're right. He just came to that position.

COX: He didn't just come to this conclusion. I've been talking to him about a long time about it for a very long time. I've talked to Arnold Schwarzenegger about politics for a number of years, in fact.

And he's very, very clear that he's pro-immigrant, as am I. But he wants to encourage people to come to this country legally, not illegally.

And he certainly doesn't want, in the wake of this anniversary of September 11, to make it easier for would-be terrorists to falsify their identity, create multiple identity, and steal your identity, which is what this law that Governor Davis just signed, as Mayor Brown said, you get votes from a certain block that he's going to promote.

HANNITY: Good to see you, congressman. Thank you.

Mr. Mayor, it's always good to see you.

BROWN: Thank you.

HANNITY: Thank you for being here tonight. Appreciate your time.

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