This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," October 23, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
ANNOUNCER: Here's a viewer warning. "Hannity" has not been cleared by the White House censors or Friends of Angelo. Americans in favor of oppressive government regulation should leave the room. This program is not White House approved.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And tonight the president is attending to the nation's business. Now after weeks of delaying some major decisions, he's finally focusing on something that all Americans can support and that's Chris Dodd's campaign for re-election.
Yes. The president spent this evening stumping for Countrywide's favorite senator at a fundraiser where tickets sold for as much as $2,400 a plate.
Now the Connecticut senator has been struggling with a low approval rating for months now. So naturally the president came to his rescue. And I'm sure all of you who are out there waiting for the president to take up the nation's real business, you can understand this.
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Meanwhile, the White House, well, they continue their war against the Fox News Channel. And they continue to maintain they won't engage with this network. Now who know the administration was so strict when it came to deciding who it would and would not talk to?
Now this president is willing to talk to, let's see, we've got Daniel Ortega, Hugo Chavez, Jeremiah Wright, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but he draws the line at little ol' me? You've got to be kidding. Talk about a warped world view.
Now in the spirit of the president's White House beer summit, I am proposing a football summit. Just me, the president, and this "Hannity" football autographed by many NFL players and coaches, and by the way, it's only a little nerf ball.
And joining me with reaction to all of this is the host of "Huckabee" right here on the Fox News Channel, Former Arkansas governor, Mike Huckabee.
We'll sit — if you can talk to Chavez and.
MIKE HUCKABEE, HOST, "HUCKABEE": It couldn't hurt anybody.
HANNITY: Look at all the — we have Lou Holtz, we have Jimmy Johnson, we have Mickey Rourke. You've signed it.
HUCKABEE: It's got to be what will bring all this together.
HANNITY: I'll give it to the president and he can sign it and we'll donate it to charity.
HUCKABEE: There you go.
HANNITY: All right.
HUCKABEE: How can he say no to that?
HANNITY: That's a fair deal. I'll even pay for the beer in the spirit of spreading wealth.
HUCKABEE: Now what he if he wants to sell the football and all the money goes to Chris Dodd's re-election campaign, then all bets are off, aren't they, Sean?
HANNITY: All right. There's a serious side to this. And maybe I understand. Maybe it's distraction. Maybe it's to energize the base. But they're engaging in the politics of personal destruction against insurance companies. They're going after Fox News. They're going after Humana. They're going after, what, the Chamber of Commerce? Why? Why would they do this?
HUCKABEE: I don't think he's acting like a junior or a senior varsity. He's acting honestly more like a sophomore or a freshman in the game. When you're president of the United States, you have to understand it's going to be a rough and tumble game. And he's taking everything personally.
He's acting as if that these are personal attacks against him and he's replying with personal attacks. The insurance companies were with him until he betrayed them and made them the bad guys, demonize them. The Chamber of Commerce, if they disagree with the policy position, he goes out now and calls them the devil.
Fox News, there's a real wall. I don't think a lot of people understand. There is a very clear wall that I think all of us see between the news side and the commentary side.
HUCKABEE: Our news side operates with integrity.
HANNITY: I got to be honest. I know a lot of these news people. You know the ones that went to Iraq and Afghanistan and war zones and Hurricane Katrina before, during and after.
Really terrific coverage on it. I think some of the best in journalism. But we also have people that ask tough questions. And we have — this is the opinion page of a newspaper. This is the editorial page. Why do you think they're so, you know, sensitive?
HUCKABEE: I think it's partly to distract away from the real issues at hand. The intricacies of health care, the intricacies of and cap and trade. I've always said when government gets in a hurry and says we've got to do this right now, the reason they're in a hurry is not because of the urgency of the issue. It's because of keeping it secret so you don't find out what's in that bill.
And this is a sleight of hand. Look what's going on in one hand while the other hand is the one who's really performing the trick. We're getting tricked on some of this stuff.
HANNITY: What do you — why would he campaign for Chris Dodd? A guy — you know, Chris Dodd was out there. He's talking about pay "czars" and, you know, how it's disgraceful, et cetera, et cetera. And he gets the sweetheart deal as the chair of the Finance Committee and the president — why would the president align with that?
HUCKABEE: He needs every senator that he can possibly get right now because every vote is going to perhaps be the deciding vote in some of these very, very stunning kind of policies he's trying to push on the American people by way of the U.S. Senate.
HANNITY: Did you hear Nancy Pelosi's line? It isn't a tax increase. It's the elimination of a tax decrease.
HUCKABEE: Yes, that's great rhetoric and certainly fitting for Nancy Pelosi but it's an amazing thing when it's always a play on words. You know it's not a tax. It's an investment or an expenditure. And it's not a tax. It's an assessment.
But this is the language of game playing. The American people are sick of it. They want people to be straight up and tell us what you're going to do and then go out and do it. The president has said repeatedly in his campaign and as president what he would do. Transparencies. No lobbyists. He was going to have five days with the bills on the Internet.
If you start taking a look at what he promised, what he's delivering, there's a 180 degrees.
HANNITY: What do you make — I think the Democrats are in trouble. Congress, you know, you have been in politics. If you have a 21 percent approval rating you've got trouble. Nancy Pelosi in her home state has 31 percent. Harry Reid in his state is in the 30s.
You've got Chris Dodd in trouble, you got Reid in trouble, promising to vaporize his opponents. You know, you got the Blue Dogs on the fence. Then you got liberals demanding the government option or else they're going to work to get rid of these Democrats. How much trouble do you think they're in?
HUCKABEE: I think they're in a lot of trouble when their numbers get that low and the re-elects drop to like 42, they're in real trouble. And part of what is again happening with this whole let's-go-after-the-chamber and Fox News and all the enemies, you know what? I'd love to hear not so much the public comments, wouldn't you like to find out what they're saying in the oval office when they get in their huddle?
HUCKABEE: And they call the — they call the play before they go out to the podiums and the microphones and say it? Because as harsh as it sounds publicly, it's 100 times more intense when they're in there in the locker room plotting their strategy.
HANNITY: Unemployment is going to be at 10 percent. OK? The president kept saying over and over again, you know, worst economy since the Great Depression. Their having to raise the debt ceiling to $13 trillion. Democrats are. They're trying to hide it.
And we got the president, you know, he's got time to campaign, go on vacations, play golf, fly to Copenhagen, engage in these wars against — you know, Commerce, what do you call it? The Chamber of Commerce.
HUCKABEE: The Chamber of Commerce.
HANNITY: Insurance companies and Fox News. When does he ever spend time thinking and governing?
HUCKABEE: Well, that's one of the issues that he's going to have to confront. And I think what Americans are very unhappy about is that he has had more time to do campaign fundraisers than he has to answer his general in Afghanistan who has been waiting by the phone finding out, are you going to send me the troops? You said you were going to put me here and get the job done. Do it or don't but let me know what the answer is.
HANNITY: The fact that there's no decision is amazing. A statistic came out this week, 49 out of 50 states, there's a lot of people in our audience suffering. 49 out of 50 states have lost jobs. He promised just the opposite. The stimulus, we had another study. We're paying $73,000 a job with stimulus money and Christina Romer said, basically, we've had the benefits of it already.
HUCKABEE: Well, what I think we're seeing is the lack of executive experience on the part of the president. His only governmental experience was legislative. The purpose of the legislative branch is to deliberate. The purpose of the executive branch is to make a decision.
He is a deliberator, and he is not as George Bush would say, the decider. We've got to have somebody who can say, look, when it lands on my desk, it's been passed up all the way through the ladder and people who can't make this decision and I've got to do it.
HANNITY: Do you think he's risking becoming like Jimmy Carter which was a failed presidency? Do you think that or is it too early to tell?
HUCKABEE: Very much so. But the real question is after the mid-term elections when I think Republicans are going to have a significant gain, does he have the capacity to make midcourse corrections? Will he lower his sort of hubris and pride about I'm right, everybody is wrong. Make a course correction. If he does, he can go back and win re-election.
If he does not, he could be like Carter, only the second president in — since 1868 whose party lost the White House after four years.
HANNITY: I think he's far more ideological than Clinton and I think that makes that possible.
HUCKABEE: Clinton was a pragmatist. Whatever people want to say about Bill Clinton.
HANNITY: He was. I agree with you.
HUCKABEE: He wanted to make something happen. That's why we have NAFTA, welfare reform and some tax cuts.
HANNITY: All right, Governor, good to see you. We will be watching you.
HUCKABEE: All right. Thanks a lot.
HANNITY: Lynyrd Skynyrd back this weekend?
HUCKABEE: I wish he was but we're going to have the John Lennon bus and some students writing a song and performing it all on the show.
HANNITY: All right. Thanks, Governor, appreciate it.
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