This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," August 29, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: The Republicans are getting ready to kick off the RNC in St. Paul on Monday. Of course, we'll be there. And Senator John McCain is already making things interesting, picking a running mate that was a surprise to many, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.
Now joining us now is a man rumored to have been on McCain's short list, FOX News contributor, former presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee.
All right. Now it's time to tell the truth. How close were you to possibly being chosen, and did you know you were being vetted?
MIKE HUCKABEE, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think Dennis Kucinich was closer to it than me. I was never vetted. I was very honest with you guys. They never asked me for any information. So I was pretty confident through the whole process that I was never really under consideration.
But I'm thrilled with Sarah Palin, brilliant choice. Look, what else could McCain have done, in the manner in which he handled it that took Barack's speech off the — really, off the entire news cycle, and all we've talked about today is Sarah Palin. I mean, 38 million people watched that speech last night, and it was a brilliant speech. I agree with Dick Morris. But today nobody's talking about it.
HANNITY: Well, you know, it's very interesting, because the whole issue of experience, which we've been talking about, when Barack entered this — the Illinois state Senate, Governor Palin was already in her fifth year of elected office.
She has executive experience. Barack Obama has none. She's used a veto pen. She's run the National Guard. She's worked in the private sector. She deals with issues involving energy rather than inflating tires and tuning up cars.
If they want to have this debate, Governor, about their No. 1 guy's lack of experience versus the Republican's No. 2 vice president's lack of experience, I think Sarah Palin wins hands down. I can't wait for that debate.
HUCKABEE: And I've even heard this talk about her versus Joe Biden. I'm going to tell you something. I was a governor ten and a half years. You get more experience being president in a month of being governor than you do in several years as a Senator, and let me explain why.
When you're a governor, you don't sit around making speeches and listening to people talk in committee hearings. You make decisions every few minutes. You make them right now. You live with the consequences. If they're wrong, everybody blames you. If you're right, you have a hundred legislators all taking credit for it.
But when you're a Senator, you know, you have the luxury of picking two or three issues. You don't have to look at the whole field of play. But you're making decisions; you're just not making speeches.
Let me just suggest this: Sarah Palin had more executive experience as the mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, than Barack Obama has had in his entire life.
ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Hey, Governor, it's Alan Colmes. Welcome back.
Isn't it a problem? The guy at the top of the ticket is John McCain. He has no executive experience.
HUCKABEE: I think being a commander in the Navy, where he made life and death decisions, is clearly a decision-making job.
COLMES: Is that why he should beat Obama?
HUCKABEE: Yes, it is like running a government. If you know anything about the military, you know that when you have command of people and their lives and potentially put them in harm's way, when you handle a multi- million dollar fighter jet, and you're coordinating with others, those are command decisions that require an extraordinary amount...
COLMES: I'm not sure that's being an executive in the government. But let me ask you about this. You believe that John McCain would have chosen Sarah Palin if Hillary Clinton were on the Democratic ticket, on either the top or bottom of the ticket?
HUCKABEE: Well, you know what? I'm not sure, but it doesn't matter, because Obama didn't pick Hillary. He said no to 18 million voters for her. But I'll tell you what John McCain did. He said yes to women in this country. I'm proud of my party that we're nominating a woman, especially one with exceptional character and strong convictions, clarity on issues that matter to me, like the issue of sanctity of life and the issue of marriage. Let me tell you: conservatives are excited.
COLMES: Let me just say — I want to say it again. I said earlier, I'm delighted he picked a woman. She seems like a fine human being. But that's — I don't know that that's the whole issue. Just like all of us who believe, even you believe, Barack Obama is a fine human being. You don't think he's ready to be president of the United States.
HUCKABEE: I do think he's a fine human being, but I don't think he's ready to be president.
COLMES: Do you believe that Sarah Palin is ready day one, if God forbid, something happens to John McCain, to be president of the United States?
HUCKABEE: I think she's far more ready to be president if something happens to McCain than Barack Obama would be if something doesn't happen to McCain. And again, I go back to the reason that she's run a city, she's run a state, she's run the biggest land mass state in the country. It's about 600 times the size of Delaware.
COLMES: But a lot of that is caribou. We know that. But she eats the caribou, by the way. She enjoys eating caribou.
HUCKABEE: Good for her. She's a hunter. She understands that the Second Amendment is a precious constitutional right. God bless her for that.
COLMES: Let me ask you, though, about — the reason I asked you about would she have been on the ticket if Hillary were on the Democratic ticket. Because this is a reactive choice, not a proactive choice.
John McCain waited till the last minute to make a choice. He chose a woman because there was no woman on the Democratic ticket. It seems like he's reacting to what Barack Obama did, not being proactive, which is what a leader should do.
HUCKABEE: I can't get in his head. He didn't share that with me. Maybe he shared it with you, and you can analyze it. I can't.
All I know is that there's a very good choice for vice president. Sarah Palin is somebody we can be proud of. And I'll tell you, she ought to be Oprah's choice. She ought to be Oprah's BFF, Best Female Friend, because if anybody ought to make Oprah cry, it ought to be Sarah Palin with the wonderful story she's got.
COLMES: Gayle King's got that job. But anyway, thank you very much, Governor, for being with us.
HUCKABEE: See you next week.
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