John McCain Gets Grilled on 'The View'

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This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," September 12, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


BARBARA WALTERS, CO-HOST, 'THE VIEW': We're not talking about economy. We're not talking about housing. She was chosen to reform the government.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Because that's what she's done.

WALTERS: Who was she going to reform?

MCCAIN: That's what she's done.

WALTERS: Who is it — you chose her just to reform...

MCCAIN: The Republican Party, the Democrat Party, even the independent. She'll reform all of Washington just like she did...


MCCAIN: By doing what she did in Alaska.

WALTERS: What? What is she going to reform specifically, Senator?




JOY BEHAR, CO-HOST, 'THE VIEW': We know that those two ads are untrue, they're lies, and yet you at the end of it say I approve these messages. Do you really approve them?


ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Some of the grilling Senator McCain got from the ladies on "The View" this morning. And soon after Cindy McCain joined the panel and defended her husband. Let's take a look at that.


WALTERS: Maybe it was a bum rap in not knowing how many houses you have. How many houses does he have — do you both have?

CINDY MCCAIN, SEN. JOHN MCCAIN'S WIFE: You know something, that's not part of this campaign. We're fortunate enough to come from a family and, particularly, my dad and mom who worked very hard to give me the best that they could, and we are fortunate to be able to live a good life and share and give to other people who are not so fortunate.


COLMES: Joining us now, columnist Sophia Nelson, and FOX News political analyst Kirsten Powers.

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Kirsten, nice to see you again. Sophia, welcome to the show.

Sophia, I thought — they got some better questions on "The View" than, I think, they get in a lot of places. And when — you know, John McCain was asked by Joy Behar, you know, you're not the same John McCain now. You've changed on everything, and he said I've changed on nothing.

That's not true, is it?

SOPHIA NELSON, POLITICALINTERSECTIONBLOG.COM: No, I think that John McCain is being John McCain. He is a maverick. I think that all you have to do is look back to the most recent immigration bill and the flack that he caught from the GOP side.

COLMES: And he changed his position then.

NELSON: Well, but that's not where he started. And I think.

COLMES: But he changed.

NELSON: If you look at John McCain's record, though, Alan, it's clear this is a man who hasn't been afraid to take on the GOP many times. He's upset the party quite a bit, and he is a maverick, and I think that even his enemies would agree.

COLMES: I think the point was that those positions that he had when he was a maverick aren't the positions that he has now, and he has flip-flopped and changed on all those positions so he doesn't support McCain-Kennedy, doesn't support McCain-Feingold, and he switched on torture, he's switched on a number of issues, and he claims to be the same John McCain.

Isn't that the issue?

NELSON: No, I don't think that's true. I think that you have the Democrat talking points down, Alan.

COLMES: Thank you very much.

NELSON: I don't think that's true.

COLMES: I appreciate that.


NELSON: I don't think that's true. I think John McCain is a maverick, he's always been one, and I think this pick of Sarah Palin just shows America how much of a true, bold maverick that he is.

COLMES: Well, you know, Kirsten, I think if he were truly a maverick, he would have picked Joe Lieberman, and not pandered to the right-wing of his party by picking Sarah Palin.

KIRSTEN POWERS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, look, I mean, everybody has to please the base of their party. I don't really think that that's fair. I think it's unrealistic for him to choose somebody who was going to alienate the entire party. And I think.

COLMES: Isn't she going to alienate moderates and independents?

POWERS: Well, apparently not. I mean she seems to be doing quite well, actually, with independent voters, and I think that he, obviously, chose her because she was somebody who was going to energize the party and she's a conservative and she's somebody that people identify with and he identifies with, because he sees her as a reformer.

And I — I think you know — I just think that we should — there are plenty of things to complain about with Sarah Palin. I just feel like we're spending all this time on things that really don't have.

COLMES: On earmarks? That's important. I mean she keeps misrepresenting.

POWERS: Well, you know, no, like, for example, complaining that, you know, she didn't sell the jet at a profit. Give me a break.

RICH LOWERY, GUEST CO-HOST: Kristen, let me ask you about another topic, because you've written about this very eloquently. It came up in the Charlie Gibson interview, came up today.

Why can't secular liberals understand that when you're praying that you do God's will, that is an act of humility, and that's what she was doing in that prayer about the Iraq war?

POWERS: Well, it's interesting to you, because you might remember that Barack Obama put that — wrote that prayer that said, you know, let me be an instrument of God's will, and we didn't see this hysteria over the fact that he wanted to be an instrument of God's will.

LOWERY: Right. Absolutely.

POWERS: . which, to me, is, frankly, much more than what she was saying which is just that, praying for God's will which is the standard prayer. And it's like — you said it's a very humble prayer, and I'm very troubled by that. I don't know why people can't just calm down and quit distorting what she said.

I think there are lots of things about her that people should be concerned about. We just never talk about them.

LOWERY: OK. That's where I'm going to cut you off, and go to Sophia.

COLMES: She's good.

LOWERY: Let's talk a little bit about the bridge to nowhere and the earmark question. Because it's true she supported the bridge when she was a candidate for governor. Once she was governor she realized the folly of it. She could have spent that federal money on it, she didn't, she took heat for it in Alaska, and she saw the light in a way Joe Biden and Barack Obama didn't.

There was a vote whether to redirect money from that bridge to rebuilding New Orleans, they voted for the bridge.

NELSON: Well, Rich, look, you're right. I think that we're witnessing a phenomenon in American politics right now. And I think that when you look at people that are reform-minded and maverick minded, if you will, they're people who — you know, one of the best examples I can come up with the modern history, those of you out there who know about John F. Kennedy and where he was on civil rights prior to the civil rights movement beginning and how he evolved on this issue.

If you go back and look at John Kennedy's votes or no votes when he was a senator on the issues leading up into the '50s and to the early 1960s, when he was elected president, and then you look at the fact that it is probably the hallmark of his administration, civil rights is, largely in part I would, you know, agree that Robert Kennedy was a great catalyst in that.

But my point is that people evolve and they change and they grow. Look at Harry Truman, a haberdasher from Missouri, a farmer.

LOWERY: Well, I mean, she didn't need to grow that much because she was legitimately taking on a corrupt old boy's network in Alaska.

NELSON: And that's the point exactly. The point is, is that she did change her mind, and she did the right thing at the end of the day.

LOWERY: Great. Kirsten, I'll let you — next time you can say what you don't like about Sarah Palin.

POWERS: Oh thank you.

LOWERY: Sophia, thanks so much.

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