Katherine Harris

This partial transcript from Hannity & Colmes, October 7, 2002 was provided by the Federal Document Clearing House.

Click here to order last night's entire transcript.

ALAN COLMES/CO-HOST: And finally tonight: It's been two years since the Florida recount and the contested presidential election. Now one of the main players is running for Congress. Former Florida secretary of state Katherine Harris joins us, and she's written a new book called "Center of the Storm."


COLMES: And I want to thank you for writing, "To my favorite conservative." (UNINTELLIGIBLE) (LAUGHTER)

COLMES: You'll always have a switch card for me. That's very kind of you.

HARRIS: Indeed. Indeed.

COLMES: I appreciate -- whenever anybody (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

MORRIS: Keep it near and dear to my heart, Alan.

COLMES: Thank you very much. Well, I like you very much. And people -- that upsets my fellow liberals because you and I -- you've been kind enough to do my radio show. You've called in when you were in New York. And it upsets people on my side that I like you.

HARRIS: Well, the problem is, is whenever we're talking about the law, and you...

COLMES: Right.

HARRIS: ... if you know the law then you're really strong in defending me.

COLMES: Right.

HARRIS: And that's why I had to come back. You know, I leave a few months...

COLMES: I understand.

HARRIS: ... and then you get mixed up, and I have to come back...

COLMES: Let me see if I'm mixed up. Let me, I appreciate that. He's been trying to straighten me out for six years.

HANNITY: Oh! You're doing good. Keep going.

COLMES: As of today.

HANNITY: This -- you got him.

COLMES: Everybody's talking about Torricelli and what happened in New Jersey, and I've cited what's happened in Florida. Let me show you what's was reported in the press about your election.

HARRIS: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) you'll read "The New York Times." Don't do that.

COLMES: This is the "Cleveland Plain Dealer."

HARRIS: Just say no! OK.

COLMES: All right. Here's what it says. Under Florida law, you're required to resign your state office on the day you qualified, which was July 15, saying you misunderstood the law, you didn't resign until August 1 under pressure in a letter that was back-dated until July 15. Then you started to talk about yourself as a "de facto secretary of state." Is that stretching the law a little bit, what happened? What...

HARRIS: No, actually, it's following the law exactly. And you know, it's funny. Unlike your liberal friends, I resigned to follow the law exactly, not when my numbers went south or play in the gray area. But I'll explain what exactly occurred. We have a unique law in Florida...

COLMES: Right.

HARRIS: ... and it's "resign to run." And it's designed to inform any candidate who would seek an open seat being vacated by an elected officer.

COLMES: Right.

HARRIS: Well, since, uniquely, my position becomes elected, I mean, moves from being elected to appointed, through a constitutional amendment change in 1998...

COLMES: Right.

HARRIS: ... it was my understanding that that letter was not necessary, not necessary to inform anyone else. And when you run for a federal office, the moment you qualify, you resign. When we were preparing to resign, because I was going to resign early, and you read that, if you're dead center and not want to play in the gray area, that's when we called a press conference and said my resignation was -- I didn't back-date it. My resignation, de facto, according to the law...

HANNITY: Hey, Katherine, good to see you again.

HARRIS: Thank you, Sean!

HANNITY: Congratulations on your book.

HARRIS: Anyway...

HANNITY: She doesn't she have the most beautiful handwriting I've ever seen?

COLMES: ... like calligraphy.

SEAN HANNITY/CO-HOST: It really incredible. All right, now just so I can -- so any time now he brings this up, for the record, it was absolutely aboveboard and 1,000 percent legal, everything that you did in the election.

HARRIS: That's correct. There weren't even any rules or laws broken. Now, on the other hand, the attorney general of the state of Florida...

HANNITY: A Democrat.

HARRIS: ... a Democrat -- the highest-ranking Democrat...

COLMES: Bob Butterworth?



HARRIS: If you're running for a state office, the law in black and white says you must sign -- send a letter of resignation 10 days prior to qualifying.

COLMES: Didn't do it, did he.

HARRIS: Didn't do it.

HANNITY: So then why is he still running?

HARRIS: Alan, why is he still running?

HANNITY: Yes. Good question, Alan.

COLMES: You're the secretary of state!

HARRIS: No, I'm not! I'm not anymore!

COLMES: You're the secretary of state. You...

HARRIS: Not anymore.

COLMES: You should disqualify him if you think that's true.

HANNITY: Let me ask you a question about, quickly here. The title of your book, "Center of the Storm"...


HARRIS: You and I one of the things that I have come to admire about you as I've gotten to know you, is that here, all this pressure, the entire world is watching, and you have a very simple philosophy in this whole endeavor: Follow the law. Just stay the course and not do anything political, just do what was right.

HARRIS: Correct.

HANNITY: Simple, isn't it, when you break it down to its brass tacks, right?

HARRIS: Actually, I think following the law was simple. The personal attacks were tough. Really tough.

HANNITY: By Alan's liberal friends. But not Alan.

COLMES: No, I never...

HARRIS: Not Alan.

COLMES: I never took that route.

HANNITY: No, not you, your liberal friends.


COLMES: All my friends are liberal.

HANNITY: Well...

COLMES: I'm starting a musical group, Me and My Liberal Friends.


HANNITY: But here you are. The world is watching. Was it hard? Did you doubt? Did you know what was it like internally for you?

HARRIS: Internally, it was really hard. And of course you begin to doubt. You read about yourself. You don't recognize yourself in the photographs. You read these horrific things. And so of course you begin to doubt. So the only safe harbor was following the letter of the law. And in the book, I talk about the fact that if you do the right thing, the future will take care of itself. It's really hard to focus on that principle at the time...

COLMES: We're going to...

HARRIS: ... because it seemed like death. You know, everyone told me...

COLMES: We're going to take a quick break. She'll try to straighten me out again during the break. More coming up with Katherine Harris.

Don't forget, log onto foxnews.com. You can become a Fox Fan.


HANNITY: As we continue on HANNITY AND COLMES, I'm Sean Hannity. We

continue now with our good friend, Katherine Harris.

Now, your campaign's going well? You going to win?

HARRIS: God willing. We're working hard, walking door-to-door, town hall meetings.

HANNITY: You're having "Coffees with Katherine."

HARRIS: Coffees with Katherine.


HARRIS: It's great!

HANNITY: What do you do, you go in people's homes and say, "Here. Here's some coffee"?

HARRIS: They actually host us...


HARRIS: ... in the neighborhood. We'll walk up. In the intimacy of a home. You have friends, families...

HANNITY: You know what I...

HARRIS: ... neighbors. It's terrific.

HANNITY: I said this to you earlier today when you were on my radio show. What I like about you is that you -- with all the horrible attacks you withstood, you're happy. You're centered. There's no bitterness or resentment. I mean, I'd be angry at some of these people, you know, because some of their attacks were so mean and so personal. And they don't know who you are. They never cared to get to know who you are. You were an object of their disdain without any knowledge of you.

And I find it, this is, in part, what you have in your book. I mean, "Remember your raising," you know, which is a great phrase. You know, it's just sound advice to get through difficulties in life. I think it's a good advice book.

HARRIS: Well, I think this book was written with the hope that since everyone finds themselves in the center of the storm, I wasn't unique in that perspective -- these principles really held me steady during a difficult time.


HARRIS: But everyone always said to me what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

HANNITY: That true?

HARRIS: And that was really difficult because we talked about it earlier -- you have a choice. You can be bitter or you can be broken, or you can be better. And I think, for example, the Special Olympics are my favorite example because they've gone through so much, and yet they triumph and excel, and they're extraordinary athletes. And that's a true inspiration. So consequently, I use a lot of historic figures.

HANNITY: Do you want to get into further office beyond Congress? And I know you're going to say, "I'm just worried about my race in a month." But do you have any aspirations to do anything beyond be a congresswoman...

HARRIS: I am going to say...

HANNITY: ... maybe senator or governor?

HARRIS: ... I just want to focus on trying to get to the next step.

HANNITY: Well...

HARRIS: I mean, that really is sincere.

HANNITY: All right.

HARRIS: I've never had a five-year plan. Politics is so different than the business world, and it can change in a moment's notice.

COLMES: What...

HARRIS: So if you do a good job, do the right thing...

HANNITY: It happens.

HARRIS: ... then the future takes care of itself.

COLMES: What was the...


COLMES: What was the biggest mistake you made during the whole debacle of the election 2000?

HARRIS: When I've talked with the media, they said if only I had come out more often...


HARRIS: ... that they wouldn't have made me such a caricature. I know some of the Democrat operatives said kind of Machiavelli, if you don't have an enemy, create one.

COLMES: Right.

HARRIS: I felt that I would only come out and speak when it was necessary for the nation to be on one...

COLMES: Right.

HARRIS: ... level playing ground, rather...

COLMES: You would have come out more?

HARRIS: And perhaps that was -- that was a concern...

COLMES: If you would have come on HANNITY AND COLMES a little more, been here more often during the election debacle...

HARRIS: Maybe that would have helped.

HANNITY: That's the last thing you needed.

COLMES: How -- how is it -- the last thing you needed, this show!


COLMES: Why is it that during the McBride-Reno contest, there were still election problems, poll people not showing up, Duval County, they didn't get it right in some cases? Why, after two years, is there still a problem in Florida?

HARRIS: Well, we've spent $32 million trying to help you guys count, but...

COLMES: Oh, it's the Democrats!


HARRIS: Well, actually, I'll explain that comment. Really, Florida was in the center of the storm, and but these problems had festered across the nation for decades. No one had the political will to address them because if you're -- you're dealing with limited resources.

COLMES: Right.

HARRIS: ... and to talk about election...

COLMES: Well, you had ATMs. You started addressing it. You put money into it.

HARRIS: We did.

COLMES: You had ATM machines for...

HARRIS: Practically.

COLMES: It still didn't work.

HARRIS: And actually, even Cal Tech and MIT said that it had drastically reduced voter error.

COLMES: Right.

HARRIS: But it worked in 65 counties. It just didn't work in 2...

COLMES: Right.

HARRIS: ... the same 2 it hadn't worked in before. Do you know and I know there's training, and we spent $6 million in training and...

COLMES: Right.

HARRIS: ... voter education. There was a concern that some of the poll workers didn't have keys to get in the polling places, nor did they plug the voting systems into the electrical outlets. And I don't...

COLMES: You got to plug it in!


COLMES: I always knew that!


COLMES: Was Jeb Bush only kidding when he said, "Well, Democrats still don't know how to vote"? Was that a joke or...

HARRIS: Well, I think the issue was just that if you were to look in 2000...

HANNITY: It's the truth, Alan.


HANNITY: It's the truth!

HARRIS: If you're to look at 2000...


HARRIS: ... the counties with the largest voter error, the top 25, none of them had Republican county supervisors in the elections. And the last two...

COLMES: So it's all just the dumb Democrats, isn't it.

HARRIS: Well, no. No.

HANNITY: You said it!



HANNITY: Don't argue with him! You got it right there!

HARRIS: I did want to tell you one thing that I think that people didn't understand.

HANNITY: Hey, we're out of time. Listen, I highly recommend this book, "Center of the Storm." You can get an autographed copy at worldnetdaily.com, worldnetdaily.com.

COLMES: And good handwriting, too.

HANNITY: No, in her...

HARRIS: Thank you.

HANNITY: And it's beautiful handwriting. Best of luck to you. Good to see you. Come become and see us soon.

That is all the time we have left this evening. Stay tuned for Greta. She goes "ON THE RECORD."

And for all news all day, please stay with us, the Fox News Channel, the network America trusts for fair and balanced news. We'll be back tomorrow night, Tuesdays with Bill Bennett. Hope you'll join us. Have a good night.

Click here to order last night's entire transcript.

Copy: Content and Programming Copyright 2002 Fox News Network, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2001 eMediaMillWorks, Inc. (f/k/a Federal Document Clearing House, Inc.), which takes sole responsibility for the accuracy of the transcription. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material except for the user's personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon Fox News Network, Inc.'s and eMediaMillWorks, Inc.'s copyrights or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.