Could Putting Clinton on the Ballot Be Good for the Democratic Party? Dick Morris Weighs in

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This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," August 14, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Speculation continues over the possible choice of Connecticut senator Joe Lieberman as John McCain's running mate. But staunch conservatives are critical considering Joe Lieberman's liberal views on issues other than the war on terror.

McCain's other highly speculated VP choice is former governor Mitt Romney. He's also being criticized, specifically by his former opponent in the primary, that would be Mike Huckabee.

Huckabee said, quote, "I think a lot of people, not just social conservatives, but a lot of the Republicans that I know are not necessarily comfortable with Romney. But it has nothing to do with religion. It has everything to do with inconsistencies in positions that he has held, and that's it."

HANNITY: Joining us now former Clinton advisor Dick Morris, author of the "New York Times" bestseller, "Fleeced." How many weeks now on the best seller?


Video: Watch part 1 of Sean and Alan's interview with Dick Morris | Part 2

HANNITY: Congratulations. Great book.

MORRIS: Thank you.

HANNITY: All right. First of all, I disagree with Mike Huckabee. I think Romney is a very good choice for John McCain. It will galvanize conservative support. I love Joe Lieberman. We both love Joe Lieberman. In the Cabinet, fine. Not as VP. Bad choice. Conservative will bolt.

MORRIS: I don't agree. I think that you and I look at politics a little differently as does Rove and I. You and Rove and Carville, for example, both all believe in revving up the base, generating a higher turnout and winning elections that way.

I believe in winning the swing voter. The independent who can go either way. And that's why I supported McCain in the first place because I thought that he had a capacity, along with Rudy to do that, that Romney and the others did not.


MORRIS: There could be nothing more dramatic than for him to be the first president, first candidate, since Abraham Lincoln to reach across the party divide and put someone from the other party on his ticket.

Now you're not going to have consistency in a lot of Republican choices. If he chooses Ridge, Ridge is pro-choice. But I think that fundamentally it would be a statement that we are going to listen to each other in Washington. We are going to transcend partisan differences and we are going to work together.

HANNITY: Dick, do you.

MORRIS: By the way, it's so funny. These two guys, neither of whom have a drop of charisma, McCain and Lieberman, the whole together would be charismatic as anything.

HANNITY: All right. Well, I could see you're all excited about it but triangulation is your game. Polls — polling is how you come to decisions. I believe in core values and principles should be guiding decisions and that's how you lead.

Here's what I would argue about to you, is that I know the conservative base. I talk to 14 million radio listener a day. I read their e-mails. I talk to all of these wonderful FOX viewers that we have and I am telling you, along conservatives where John McCain is having a problem, Dick — and I want you to analyze this — this would, to them, be a slap in the face.

As much as I like Lieberman personally, it would be — to them, it would reinforce that he is too far to the left.

MORRIS: I have no interest in the purity of a losing ticket. I believe that the dominant threat we face in the United States, to our healthcare system, our tax system, our national defense is the election of Obama as president. And I believe that if by putting a candidate on for vice president, you can lure Democrats and independents to vote for him because of his national security credentials.

HANNITY: And chase away the base?

MORRIS: The base will be if there 100 percent.

HANNITY: No, no.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: You know most people, Dick.

MORRIS: . they don't want Obama.

COLMES: Actually, Dick, you know.

HANNITY: I don't think you're right.


MORRIS: Let me say this. Anybody in the base who doesn't vote for McCain deserves the taxes they're going to have pay under Obama.

COLMES: You know, you know, you know, they were knocking McCain like crazy prior to him getting the nomination and conservatives are not going to vote for Obama. They want to stop Obama so badly they'll vote for McCain even if he has Lieberman on the ticket with him.

MORRIS: That's what I said.

COLMES: I guess.

MORRIS: Absolutely.

COLMES: And most people are in the middle.

MORRIS: And it would be a brilliant, brilliant move.

COLMES: He's not going to do, though, is he?

MORRIS: I don't know. I don't know.

COLMES: He'd be better than Romney.

MORRIS: Well, I don't think Romney helps him at all. And I think that what Huckabee said makes some sense and I think that the — let's face it, a lot of people voted against him because he was Mormon. I don't approve of that, you don't approve of it, but it happened.

COLMES: You think there was that level of bigotry in this country?

MORRIS: I think there's that level of anti-Mormon feeling, yes, I do and I do think it's bigotry. Yes, I do.

COLMES: And who does Obama go with for VP? And by the way, does it matter who announces first, whether McCain goes first or Obama goes first?

MORRIS: Well, I think they'll each go at their conventions. I think that Obama will probably do a relatively safe choice, Evan Bayh, although, you know, one of the problems with Evan Bayh is that he's Mark Penn's client. And Mark Penn is his chief advisor and he would be kind of letting the guy that said run against — we'll run against you because we'll imply you aren't American as being the.

COLMES: Well, the average voter is not going to go, wait a minute, Mark Penn advised him, I can't vote for this — I really don't think (INAUDIBLE)

MORRIS: No, but a lot of your base, like his, a lot of your base will be upset about that.

COLMES: Well, I don't think the average voter isn't going to figure out that Mark Penn advised this person and advised this person therefore I'm not going to vote this particular way. But Evan Bayh would be a safe choice.

MORRIS: Yes, I think so.

COLMES: You have an issue about with — something has been said about you having to do with you about taxes.


COLMES: I want to get into this.

MORRIS: Yes. The ABC News reported today that McCain — that Obama's economic advisors wrote a piece for the "Wall Street Journal" this morning saying that Obama would only raise capital gains taxes to 20 percent. Wouldn't go higher. And they then said that I made a, quote, "false charge" that he was going to double the capital gains tax.

Now to say that I made a false charge is absurd. ABC should read what Charlie Gibson, their own anchor, said when he said Obama said, quote, "I would certainly not go above the level that existed under Bill Clinton, which was 28 percent." And then he also at one point said it might be 20 or 25.

And when a politician sets an upward limit on a tax hike, it's like the seaweed on the beach. You know that the tide can come up to that level.

COLMES: And I want to respond. And I want — we got to take a break. So we're going to pick it up right there and I want to tell you what I understand Obama will likely do along tax issues. But we'll come back with Dick Morris.


COLMES: Today Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton announced that Hillary's name will appear on the nomination ballot at the convention in Denver. This is the latest attempt by Democrats to reunite the party after a long primary battle.

Will this work?

We continue with Dick Morris. Just one second on the — we'll get to this in a second. But, look, Obama said he would not raise taxes including capital gains of people making under $250,000 a year. It's not going to happen.

MORRIS: That's the latest incarnation.

COLMES: No, he's always said that.

MORRIS: At the beginning he said he would bring it up to 28 percent. At that point he made no reference to the dollar amount of income. And in my book "Fleeced" I outline the tax commitments he made during the primary.

Now there are whole series of issues where he's flip flopped. But if I had to revise my book each time he revises his position, my editor would kill me.

COLMES: He said it would be — and his advisors say 20 percent, not 28.

But look, let me — let's talk about the convention. This is an attempt to unite the party. The Hillary Clinton folks, along with the Barack Obama campaign, got together and mutually.


COLMES: . decided to do this to heal the party.

MORRIS: Like Georgia and Russia mutually agreed that they would seed those two promises.

COLMES: I don't think it's quite a good analogy.

MORRIS: Obama had every bit of power and the Clintons had none. If Hillary had boycotted the convention or there have been demonstrations, she would have been held hostage and crucified by the Democratic Party for doing that.

She had no power. And this guy gave her Tuesday night, a film that the Clintons is going to produce.

COLMES: It's her voters. It's her voters.

MORRIS: A film. A film.

COLMES: It's her supporters.

MORRIS: A film the Clintons were going to produce. Chelsea introducing her, Bill takes over Wednesday night. And Thursday night, the early part of the evening is Hillary getting votes from the convention.

I think that this isn't so much question of will it help or hurt Barack Obama. I think a guy who's that weak and negotiates that poorly.


MORRIS: . shouldn't be president of the United States.

COLMES: I think it shows strength that he is willing to be inclusive.

MORRIS: If Hillary Clinton — yes, I know. Tell that to Putin.

If Hillary Clinton can ride rough shot over this guy what do you think bin Laden will do?

COLMES: Wait, Putin? You mean Putin, the guy who George Bush looked into his eyes and saw his soul? That's the.

MORRIS: He's not running against Bush, he's running against McCain.

COLMES: Oh yes, he is.


COLMES: He's running against Bush, believe me.

MORRIS: And my feeling is that he has shown such incredible weakness. This is Hillary's convention now.

COLMES: It's not Hillary's convention.

MORRIS: Tuesday night her daughter introduces her. Harry Tomlinson does a movie just like I would have him do. Hillary gives an acceptance speech. Bill endorses Hillary.

COLMES: And you know what?

MORRIS: The next night Hillary is all over the roll call. It's her convention.

COLMES: 18 million votes. There are 18 million votes that she got people and those people want that kind of unity.

MORRIS: I hate to pull a phrase from by book but she fleeced him good.

HANNITY: All right, let — I want to go over this, because I agree, I think it shows signs of incredible weakness on his part. He didn't want this roll call.

MORRIS: Right.

HANNITY: . on Thursday night, the night he.

MORRIS: He didn't want her to be nominated.

HANNITY: He didn't want her to be nominated.

MORRIS: He didn't want Bill to speak in prime time.

HANNITY: All right. But let's go — so he caved on the roll call.

MORRIS: Everything.

HANNITY: Wait, he caved on the roll call. Then she's allowed to have Harry Tomlinson and Linda (INAUDIBLE) Thompson do the film...


HANNITY: . which is going to turn her into the — you know, the second coming herself. OK. Then, Chelsea speaks before she speaks on Tuesday so they own all of Tuesday.


HANNITY: They own all of Wednesday with Bill.

MORRIS: All of Wednesday. First half.

HANNITY: It's the first half anyway. And then they own Thursday when the nominating — the roll call vote goes on.

MORRIS: Absolutely. And you know that what's going to happen is that most of the shows including FOX will cut away for Bill Clinton's speech, cut away for Hillary's speech, but not necessarily for the others.

HANNITY: Will it remind the country of how much we don't like the Clintons?

MORRIS: It will remind the country. It will remind — it will tell the country that Hillary won the nomination but, above all, it will show how pitifully weak this guy is.

HANNITY: All right. Let's talk a little bit about swing states and about VP choices. We haven't mentioned about Obama and his VP choices. I want to ask you about that and Karl Rove had a piece in his journal today. He looks at Colorado, Virginia, Michigan, Ohio as the four big swing states.

Do you agree with that?

MORRIS: Well, yes. If the election is tied, I — he's right although I would put Florida in that list. Florida leans one point Republican. But he has — Republican has to win that.


MORRIS: So I think you do have those states. What I object to is the theory that you can swing an election by putting a VP on your slate from a state. John Edwards didn't help Kerry carry North Carolina.


MORRIS: I don't — Gore didn't carry Tennessee himself.

HANNITY: So who should — who should Obama pick? So he will.

MORRIS: I think.

HANNITY: Will Evan Bayh take Indiana? Will McCain.

MORRIS: No, I think that — I don't they'd have an impact on that. I think the dominant need that Obama has is to prove that he knows where the men's room in the White House is.

HANNITY: All right. Now you would.

MORRIS: And with a war going on in Georgia and a potential war in the Middle East, he should put somebody like Joe Biden on his ticket.

HANNITY: All right. Good to see you, Dick.

MORRIS: Of course, a lot of people would say flip it around.

HANNITY: You can't — you just can't help yourself.

MORRIS: Put Biden as the president.

HANNITY: It's in your DNA.

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