This is a partial transcript from Hannity & Colmes, January 21, 2003, that has been edited for clarity.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Earlier today I had the opportunity to speak with the vice president of the United States, Dick Cheney (search), on my radio show. Here's just a portion of that interview.


HANNITY: The president last night seemed to me more than anything else, seemed to want to remind the American people why it is we went to Afghanistan (search), why we went to Iraq (search).

It was necessary in light of the six, eight months of attacks that the administration has been under by the Democrats?

DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I think -- I don't think we did it so much for that reason. I think it was much more focused on, you know, this is what we've been involved in. And it's a continuing effort.

I mean, you know, there's still a lot of work to be done in Afghanistan and in Iraq. Not only do you need to be successful militarily, and we have been for the most part, both places, although there's still continuing security problems.

But you also have to be successful in terms of the kind of political structure you set up and leave behind. What that part of the world is going to look like 20 or 30 years from now is going to have a lot to do with what kind of government systems are established.

And so that will continue to be a focus of this administration, not only as it has been over the last couple of years but going forward as well, too. I think you want to make sure the American people are focused on that. I think it was a call for them to continue to support the effort.

This is different than any conflict we've been involved in before in that it's likely to last for a long time. And it's also -- calls upon the very best in us in terms of trying to maintain vigilance at home, the notion that we're still potentially under threat of attack, that American forces are still going to have to be committed to this cause and we will still suffer casualties.

HANNITY: I want you to respond to this. And I mentioned for the last eight months, the administration has been under attack, not by fringe elements of the Democratic Party, but by their main leaders.

Ted Kennedy (search) in the Senate suggesting that the administration went to war, concocted a war for political gain.

Dennis Kucinich (search) attacking the administration, saying that civilians were targeted for attack in the case of Afghanistan.

Howard Dean (search) putting forward a theory that perhaps the president knew about 9/11, was warned about 9-/1 ahead of time.

Sharp language. Al Sharpton (search) calling the president a gang leader. Dick Gephardt (search) saying the president is a miserable failure.

You follow the news very closely. You hear these things and you hear this level of attack, what do you think?

CHENEY: Well, to me it says a lot more about those who are launching those attacks than it does the president or this administration.

I think it's too bad that they feel that that's what they have to do in order to win votes on their side of the aisle.

I don't think the American people believe that. I think the vast majority of the American people have supported what we've done and appreciate the leadership the president has provided.

And I really think some of the comments have been, I think, beyond the pale, over the line, if you will. The level of debate and dialogue, in the political arena this year has fallen to some pretty distinctive lows.

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