'Hannity & Colmes' Exclusive: Bill Cunningham on Obama Comments

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," February 26, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


BILL CUNNINGHAM, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: At some point in the near future, the media, the stooges from The New York Times; CBS, the Clinton Broadcasting System; NBC, the Nobody But Clinton network; the All Bill Clinton Channel, ABC; and the Clinton News Network at some point is going to peel the bark off Barack Hussein Obama.


SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: That was our friend, Bill Cunningham, speaking at a Cincinnati rally for Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain earlier today. And Cunningham was there to endorse McCain, but the Arizona senator made sure to distance himself immediately after the talk show host made those comments.

And Bill Cunningham now joins us from Cincinnati, the great American that he is.

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All right. Bill, you're — apparently, Senator McCain is upset: "I take responsibility. I repudiate what he said. I will not tolerate anyone that denigrates either Senator Clinton or Senator Obama." And your thoughts and reactions to Senator McCain?

BILL CUNNINGHAM, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, my friend, Sean, McCain should be repudiating Democrats and leaving conservatives alone. His people told me to give the faithful red meat. Give them red, raw meat.

And so what I did was deliver a speech about Rezko, the developer in Chicago under a federal criminal indictment, a good friend of Barack Hussein Obama. I spoke about the circumstances involving Obama, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, who was the fellow who gave a lifetime achievement award to Louis Farrakhan.

HANNITY: To Louis Farrakhan, yes.

CUNNINGHAM: And the daily — the daily political machine gave us this — this stealth candidate, this Manchurian candidate. We don't know who in the heck he is. I'd like to know more about Obama.

HANNITY: Yes, I don't know why everybody is fainting. All of Alan's liberal friends have seen it at all these events. But look, at the Rezko trial, a U.S. district judge today presiding over it told prosecutors they can introduce evidence in this case, Bill Cunningham, to support allegations that Rezko used straw men to make contributions to Obama.

But a lot of people seem to be taking issue with the fact that you use his full name. Now, that is his name. Isn't it? You didn't make it up. That is his name.

CUNNINGHAM: Sean, now why don't you talk to his mother and father, recently departed? God bless and God rest their souls. His parents called him Barack Hussein Obama, not me.

And Alan Colmes' good friend, Patrick Fitzgerald, was the U.S. attorney who prosecuted Scooter Libby. He's now prosecuting the good friend of Barack Hussein Obama, and I bet Alan Colmes doesn't know it, doesn't care and would want to ignore it.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: I don't even know the guy.

HANNITY: Let me ask you this, because it's amazing...

COLMES: I don't know him.

CUNNINGHAM: Patrick Fitzgerald, your buddy. Alan...

HANNITY: I want to get into the idea that Senator McCain repudiated your statements, distanced yourself from him, and he's still being attacked by, for example, Howard Dean, who says, quote, "I hate Republicans and everything they stand for. Republicans have never made an honest living. They're the white Christian party. This is a struggle between good and evil. We're good. Republicans can't get people of color in the room unless, of course, the wait staff is there."

You know, I'm just trying to understand. He can say all of that, but you can't use — you can't mention that he's got issues involving Rezko. And you can't use his full name. That's the environment that the Democrats want this country to have a debate in? How are you going to respond to Senator McCain? Will you stop supporting him?

CUNNINGHAM: Your co-host, Alan Colmes, wants to have, like, a force field around Barack Hussein Obama, and if you touch it, you get electrocuted. What happened to me today is what's going to happen to conservatives for the next eight months if they bring up Barack Hussein Obama's name. Just say his name. All of a sudden, you're going to be electrocuted.

COLMES: Let me point out that on your radio — what you're ignoring, Bill, is on your radio show didn't you call him Barack Hussein Mohammed Obama?

CUNNINGHAM: Well, I did call him that once, because Mohammed is the greatest prophet of God according to...

COLMES: I see. So why did you add a name that wasn't his name? Now you're acting like, "I just said his name." You didn't do that. You actually inserted the name "Mohammed" to his name. Why did you do that?

CUNNINGHAM: I believed at the time that his confirmation and one of his names was Mohammed, and I rescinded the statement. I said Barack Hussein Obama.

COLMES: I see.

CUNNINGHAM: I thought at the time. I was wrong. Alan, I made a mistake.

COLMES: You also had a caller to your radio show refer to him as a terrorist cell. Do you concur with that caller?

CUNNINGHAM: No, I did not concur with any caller. I do not believe Barack Hussein Obama is a terrorist or a Manchurian candidate. I do believe we know nothing about this guy from the daily political machine.

COLMES: You also said it would be a shock if Barack Mohammed Hussein Obama could be elected the president of this country in these difficult terrorist times.

It sounds to me like you're trying to — you're making up names for him, and you're using the word "terrorist" as if you're trying to tie him to terrorism. So you want to explain that statement?

CUNNINGHAM: Very easily. This is the candidate who wants to close down Gitmo, who wants to reinstate habeas corpus, who wants to criminalize — terrorist activities, and he wants to eliminate key elements in the Patriot Act. I'm referring to that, Alan Colmes, and not his name.

COLMES: Does that make him a terrorist? Does that make him a terrorist?

CUNNINGHAM: He is not — no, he's not a terrorist. But I'll tell you what. His policies might encourage more terrorism.

COLMES: First of all...

CUNNINGHAM: George Bush has kept us safe, Alan Colmes.

COLMES: I think John McCain handled it with dignity and class. He said the right thing. How does it feel...

CUNNINGHAM: No, he didn't.

COLMES: ... for you to get repudiated by your Republican candidate?

CUNNINGHAM: I'm going to follow the lead of Ann Coulter. I've had it with John McCain. I'm going to endorse Hillary Rodham Clinton for president, because she would do a better job in the Oval Office, I think, than the liberal John McCain. I'm done with him.

COLMES: Your reaction actually — your actions actually caused John McCain to apologize to Barack Obama for what you said. You put your candidate in that position.

CUNNINGHAM: I did not. He's not my candidate. He is not a conservative. I'm a conservative Reagan Republican, and John McCain embarrassed himself. The local Republican Party, Alan Colmes, has received dozens — dozens of calls complaining about John Juan Pablo McCain. They're getting complaint calls.

COLMES: I noticed you make up names for John McCain. You don't call him John Sidney McCain III, which is his full name, but you call him Barack Hussein Mohammed Obama. So you have a double standard there, don't you, Mr. Cunningham?

CUNNINGHAM: My standard, Alan Colmes, is for the American people and the American way of life.

HANNITY: I've got a question.

CUNNINGHAM: And I want you to say that "George Bush has kept me safe for the last seven years." Say it, Alan. Say it.

HANNITY: What do you call Alan Colmes?

CUNNINGHAM: I call Alan Colmes a well-intended liberal who's a left-wing radical extremist to the left of a Bolshevik.

COLMES: To the left of a Bolshevik. Well, aybe I'll send you a political chart, so you can understand me a little more, Mr. Cunningham.

CUNNINGHAM: Thank you, Alan Colmes.

COLMES: Thank you for coming on our program this evening.

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