Exclusive! Sean Is on the Road With Rudy Giuliani in New Hampshire
This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," June 12, 2007, that has been edited for clarity.
ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Welcome to "Hannity & Colmes." I'm Alan Colmes. We get right to our top story tonight.
Earlier today, Sean traveled to New Hampshire with former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and got an exclusive interview on the campaign trail.
SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Mr. Mayor, good to see you. We're on our way to Bedford, New Hampshire.
RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY: Good to see you, Sean, thank you.
HANNITY: Another early morning flight for you.
GIULIANI: Yes, great. We're doing it every day. And this is part of the excitement of it.
HANNITY: Today's a big day for you. Today you are calling, what, 12 commitments...
HANNITY: ... for the American people. I don't want to compare it to the Contract with America, but these are like Rudy's promises to America.
GIULIANI: Well, I mean, that's the idea of it. The idea of it is, these are the things that we want to base our campaign on, presidency on, things about the future. A campaign should be about ideas, and about ideas for the future. And so much of the debate, and particularly on the Democratic side, has been about going in reverse, going back to the 1990s.
And you listen to that last Democratic debate. They must have said that a half a dozen times, want to go back to the 1990s on terrorism, where we're sort of in denial. We want to go back to the tax rates of the 1990s. This is just the opposite. This is, let's turn America around. Let's head toward the future.
Let's take a look at, how can we make the tax code fairer, simpler? How can we actually lower taxes and put more money back into the private economy? How do we deal with terrorism, this war they have against us, by being on offense, rather than going back to the way we were on defense in the 1990s?
HANNITY: That's your first of 12 promises. Are they in any particular order?
GIULIANI: Well, that's the preeminent challenge of our generation that's been imposed on us by the terrorists. I mean, they've been at war with us for a long time. Unfortunately, tragically, we didn't recognize it until September 11, or America didn't, but now we do. And we have to remain on offense against them. We have to be doing the things that you do to keep yourself safe and get this over with as quickly as possible. Meaning the use of our military, Patriot Act, electronic surveillance, interrogation, the things that were at the core of these two plots that were just uncovered.
It's a frustrating thing, and America needs leadership to remain on offense. We can fall back easily into what the Democrats are talking about. It sounds very appealing, you know? Don't react, let things go, kind of act the way Clinton did in the '90s. You know, we get attacked on the Cole. We don't do anything about it. We have a very inadequate response.
HANNITY:Khobar Towers, the embassy bombings.
GIULIANI: Khobar Towers,Tanzania, USS Cole. What you see there is, in some cases, no reaction, and in each case an inadequate reaction. Or the first attack on the World Trade Center, where we dealt with it as if it were a criminal act. And when you listen to the Democratic rhetoric, it sounds like they want to go back to dealing with it as if these are criminal acts and not acts of war, acts of terror.
HANNITY: You know, I'm listening to everything you're saying, in terms of the Patriot Act, and NSA surveillance, and interrogations, and all these different issues. It almost seems what is emerging for the general election. And I know you want to get through the primary. But the differences in the two parties now, when you listen to the Democrats debate, the Republicans debate, they're against these things. You're for these things.
Going back to your first commitment that you're laying out here today, you know, we're going to stay on offense. In that sense, are they on defense?
GIULIANI: Well, I think that this election has accelerated real quick. Three Republican debates, two Democratic debates. You do get a pretty good idea of what the two parties are about. We're about — or I am certainly — about being on offense on terrorism. They're about going back to defense on terrorism. And there are stark differences on the domestic economy. People haven't paid as much attention to that yet. But if you pay attention to the debates, it's emerged dramatically.
GIULIANI: One of my commitments is fairer taxes, lower taxes. Their commitment is, raise your taxes. No question about it. Those are two different plans for the future. The American people get a chance to choose. Which of these two plans would you rather have for your future, one that increases the government economy, or one that increases the private economy? So this is going to be, and it's almost clear now this is going to be a very defining election.
HANNITY: It almost reminds me a little bit of when Mondale and Reagan, and Reagan would say, "There are two very different competing visions." As I watch the Democrats debate, the Republicans debate, I sum up their positions: no global war on terror; they want to end the war now in Iraq; change the policies that you were just talking about, the Patriot Act, surveillance program; raise taxes; nationalize health care. There are very, very distinct differences in visions here.
GIULIANI: There are. And people of America are going to get, in this particular case, a really dramatic choice. And if you want to summarize a lot of these commitments with regard to the future on the economy and our society, it's — I emphasize, and I will emphasize, and I did when I was mayor, the private side of the America, meaning lower taxes. Give people more choice over their own money, give people more choice over the education of their children, give people more choice over their health care, give people somewhat more control over their lives. Because I believe, if that's the way we move into the future, that's how you unleash the unique genius of the American people.
You know, lots of countries have centralized governments that control the decision of their people. Why is it this government has been the most successful, and the American people have been the most successful, most creative? Because we're the ones that release the creative energy of the people. Everybody else, or a lot of these other countries, have these very, very strong centralized governments. Well, they have not had the success that we've had.
HANNITY: Having watched you as mayor, being your top radio guy there — I'm kidding — at the time, but you cut taxes 23 times, and yet revenues went up how much?
GIULIANI: Revenues went up, based on that model, probably — we lowered taxes by $9 billion on that base, we were collecting $12 billion, $13 billion. I'll give you an example we just looked at. We lowered the personal income tax in New York by 24 percent; the revenues went up 40 percent. In other words, we were collecting 40 percent more revenues on a rate that was 24 percent lower.
So that's the way in which you help the common good. Hillary Clinton has a quote about the Bush tax cuts in which she says, "We're going to have to take things from you for the common good." What I did was give things back to you for the common good.
COLMES: And more of Sean's interview with presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani after the break.
HANNITY: And we continue now with my exclusive interview on the campaign trail with presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, who today unveiled his 12 commitments to the American people.
HANNITY: Will we see — remember when Newt ran with the Contract, he was pulling it out of his pocket. Is this something you want the American people to know that these are your...
GIULIANI: Sure. I want the American people to know these are the things we stand for. This is the direction we're going to go in. We'll contrast that with other candidates that may want to go in a different direction. I think the bigger contrast here will be here with the Democrats. They want to go in the direction of much bigger government. We want to go in the direction of private solutions to these problems. I think you'll see that as a theme that runs through the 12 commitments that we're making.
HANNITY: Let's go through them. And were they put in any particular order? Number one is, "I will keep America on offense in the terrorists and the war on us."
GIULIANI: Well, that was put in order. The rest are, at different times during the campaign, one will be more important than the other, as we emphasize it. It may turn out that one has to be done faster than the other once we get into office.
But the first one is the main one, and that is America's safety, America's security, and the fact that we have to be on offense in this terrorist war against us, if we are going to succeed without casualties being horrible. I mean, the reality is, this war is a war that's going to go on for quite some time. The more steadfast we are, the more we remain on offense, the shorter it will be, and the fewer casualties we will have.
HANNITY: Your second one was obviously a very contentious debate in Washington now for the last couple of weeks about immigration.
HANNITY: And your commitment is, "I will end illegal immigration, secure the borders, identify every non-citizen in the country."
GIULIANI: It is possible to end illegal immigration. It could be done within existing law. You don't need another law for it.
HANNITY: Explain that.
GIULIANI: The fence, physical fence, technological fence can be deployed. It was approved last year. You can deploy it. You could set up a biometric singular I.D. card that everyone would have to have who was in this country from a foreign country. You could put that in a database so that it was clear. And then you could deploy a border stat program, like my COMSTAT program, that we used to reduce crime to use the Border Patrol so effectively that virtually — maybe not quite 100 percent, but you could get to 95 percent, 98 percent, 99 percent accuracy in stopping people from coming in.
HANNITY: So you're basically saying that the president now has the authority to do these things, because they keep saying the bill is dead, they're trying to revive it, this border can be secured right now?
GIULIANI: Yes, I actually had thought they had gotten to the point of compromising so much, that if a new law was passed, the one they had in mind, there would be less security in it than the prior one had. There seemed to be, at least in some of the compromises they were reaching, cutbacks on the level of security that they are already at.
HANNITY: All right. Third, "I will restore fiscal discipline, cut wasteful spending in Washington." Can you end earmarks? Can you end...
GIULIANI: Oh, you have to end earmarks. I mean, the idea of anonymous spending of billions and billions and hundreds of billions of dollars is totally undemocratic and creates total unaccountability. You have to end earmarks. You have to do a Reagan-like reduction in the size of government spending by imposing targets for budget cuts on agencies. You have to make a commitment that you're not going to rehire the half of the federal employees who retire over the next 10 years. That would be about 42 percent of the federal workforce.
And you have to look at this whole area of non-discretionary spending and say to yourself, "Why is it non-discretionary?" I mean, it is in the discretion of the president and the Congress, and we can't be passing on this burden to the next generation. We've got to take responsibility for it.
HANNITY: Do you think you could actually cut the size of government then? I mean, is that — am I reading into that?
GIULIANI: Yeah, well, here is what will happen with each one of these commitments, on this one first. They'll say, "Can't be done, not manageable, can't do it." I love that. That's exactly what I was faced when I ran for mayor of New York City. You couldn't cut crime; you couldn't cut welfare; you couldn't cut the budget; you couldn't reduce taxes. I did every one of those things way beyond expectations.
HANNITY: The issue you talked a lot about, "I will increase adoptions, decrease abortions, protect the quality of life for children." The issue of abortion has come up a lot for you in the campaign. You've explained it a lot, but you are really defining that as a commitment.
GIULIANI: A common ground here is, reduce abortions. It's just that everybody wants to do that, and that's something we can accomplish. It's something we can accomplish now. We can reduce the number of abortions.
One of the ways, not the only way, but one of the ways, and maybe one of the primary ways is increase the number of adoptions. I did that in New York. I increased adoptions by 135 percent. I decreased abortions. That's the kind of program that we can aim for nationally. Bring down the number of abortions, bring up the number of adoptions, and the other alternatives and the other sources of information that can be available so a woman actually has a free choice.
HANNITY: Let me ask you about health care, because all the Democratic candidates running for office, they want to nationalize health care. You have a very different view when you say specifically you're going to deal with the health care system. "I will give Americans more control, access to health care, make it more affordable, et cetera, and use free markets." Very different philosophy.
GIULIANI: Dramatic difference. And each one of these commitments is a dramatic difference from the Democrats and a different path to a future of growth. And the only way we're going to contain the costs of health care, retain what's good about it, is by free market, by increasing it as a free market. That's the way you reduce costs and increase quality.
Going to government-controlled, government-mandated, socialized medicine will destroy health care for all Americans. This has to be done with tax incentives, tax exemptions, health savings accounts, health vouchers, reform the legal system, and take that heavy cost out of malpractice. If you do all of that, we're going to have cost go down and quality go up. If you go to socialized medicine, we will ruin health care in America.
HANNITY: Last question. I'm listening to you, and your positions, and these promises you're about to lay out in about five minutes from right now before a big audience here. And I compare it to the Democrats, and I've watched their debates very closely. No global war on terror, end the war in Iraq, raise taxes, nationalize health care. Explain what kind of campaign, what kind of election, and the differences that are emerging?
GIULIANI: Well, part of the 12 commitments I'm laying out is a dramatic difference for the future. It's all about the future. The Democrats are laying out a future. They want to go back to the 1990s. They want to go back to being in denial on the war on terror; they want to go back to the tax rates of the 1990s. My path to the future is: Remain on offense against terrorism. Remain firm. Remain strong. Everything I've learned about Islamic terrorism tells me the best way to deal with it is from strength. And lay out a future of growth.
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