This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," October 20, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, (D) VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Mark my words. Within the next first six months of this administration, if we win, they're going to — we're going to face a major international challenge because they're going to want to test him.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: That was Senator Joe Biden this weekend telling voters that the world wants to know if Obama is up to the job, so what does an Obama presidency mean to the rest of the world?
Joining us now is — former ambassador to the U.N., FOX News contributor, John Bolton.
I can't even believe he's admitting what I've been saying for a long time, is that, you know, hey, within six months, you know, the world's going to test him? So, in other words, he's saying that his — his president is perceived by the world to be weak.
JOHN BOLTON, FMR. U.N. AMBASSADOR: Yes. Well, thank god for Joe Biden, that's all I can say. We need more of Joe unleashed.
But what he's saying, I think, is pretty self-evident. Leaders around the world see Obama as soft, untested and weak, and they will react accordingly.
HANNITY: Well — but if we've seen the signs of this. Iran is a tiny country and not a serious threat. Those are Barack Obama's words. He said would you meet in your first your first year with people like Hugo Chavez and Ahmadinejad without preconditions?
Yes, his answer was. He hasn't been held accountable really for a lot of these statements, and then he accused our troops of air-raiding — this is Obama's words — he accused our brave men and women of air-raiding villages and killing civilians.
Does that sound like somebody that understands our military?
BOLTON: I don't think they do at all. I think he's very naive, I don't think he understands how to represent or defend American interests. And I think we're going to learn at our — to great pain if he's elected how much at risk we really are.
HANNITY: You know, even Joe Biden said the presidency doesn't lend itself to on-the-job training, even Joe Biden said that his vote, when he voted to cut off the funds of brave men and women, fighting a war, that he said lives would be lost, and it was political if he do it. Joe Biden said that about him.
Why should we believe Biden now versus then? Isn't that so transparent that it's political ambition?
BOLTON: Well, I think they're obviously eager to win, and that's why Obama has changed his position so many times on key questions like how exactly is he going to get out of Iraq.
I must say my favorite Joe Biden line in that whole speech was when he said, I've forgotten more about foreign policy than my colleague — most of my colleagues know, so he better win the vice presidency. I don't think he can go back to the Senate after that.
HANNITY: Yes. Do you think, for example, that when you — when he said these things about Iran being a tiny country, not a serious threat, how do you think that is perceived?
I mean is that almost like when he talks about waiving — he would have left Iraq, we would have basically waved the white flag of surrender.
Is he an appeaser? Is that a fair word? I used that adjective about him?
BOLTON: Well, I think he's a kind of a kumbaya guy. He can't understand why somebody on the other side of the table may not be as reasonable as he is, and those people are prepared to take advantage of him.
HANNITY: He doesn't understand either.
BOLTON: Certainly Iran can't wait. Doesn't understand how to confront adversaries to the United States.
ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: By the way, Ambassador, speaking to our adversaries, which is something, I think, we should do, and I applaud Obama for actually saying he would do that. I think it's crazy not to talk to.
BOLTON: And what will he say to them?
COLMES: Well, that's the issue. You're.
BOLTON: Hi, nice day?
COLMES: No, but wait a minute.
BOLTON: He's never addressed the question, Alan. This is important. He's never addressed the question, what he's going to say to Ahmadinejad when he sits.
COLMES: Well, that's an issue of what happens at the time and what issues at the time, but you're suggesting just because we talk to somebody that we're appeasing.
BOLTON: I am saying — absolutely.
COLMES: . because of.
BOLTON: I have never said that. But when Ahmadinejad says I think Israel ought to be wiped off the map, what does Obama say to him, well, can't we find a way to compromise on that?
COLMES: No, of course not. But, of course, if you don't talk to them, the only option is war. You've been an advocate for actually taking military strikes in Iran.
BOLTON: The fact is.
COLMES: . going military and without even having an opportunity to have a discussion.
BOLTON: The fact is, over five years of diplomacy have been wasted on Iran allowing them to get five years closer to a nuclear weapon.
COLMES: But we had muscular diplomacy?
BOLTON: We have had very — muscular diplomacy by the Europeans and everybody's known for five years they were our surrogates. Everybody has known that.
COLMES: Not by the United States. By the way, Barack Obama.
BOLTON: Ask the Iranians.
COLMES: What Obama said was, we have to have enough forces in Afghanistan so we're not just killing civilians, and John McCain accused us of killing civilians in Kosovo in 2000.
So is he guilty of accusing our military of doing something untoward towards civilians?
BOLTON: I don't think that's much of a test of your foreign policy leadership. I think the real problem with Obama is that he doesn't understand that in a difficult world American interests are going to be challenged, and there are people that you simply can't negotiate with.
COLMES: Right. By the way, where is it — this idea of about what Joe Biden said in terms of challenging a Barack Obama presidency, isn't that what happened to George W. Bush on 9/11? Was he not challenged?
BOLTON: I don't think that was a direct effort to challenge George Bush, I think that was an attack on the United States. I do think the analogy Biden used of Khrushchev challenging Kennedy is right on target and Kennedy came away from that challenge very much weakened.
COLMES: Is it.
BOLTON: . the president.
COLMES: Isn't it possible that John McCain would be challenged if he were president?
BOLTON: I think it's a lot less likely in that kind of sense. But I think the real point is not who's going to get challenged when, it's the perception overseas that Obama's weak and naive.
COLMES: But is that a perception overseas or is it a perception by.
BOLTON: It's a perception here, too.
COLMES: Or is it a perception by conservative Americans that don't want him — don't want him to be president?
BOLTON: I'm afraid we're going to find out, to our dismay, after January the 20th.
COLMES: All right, Ambassador, thank you very much for being here tonight.
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