This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," July 25, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Foxnews.com is confirming some details related to a story the "National Enquirer" reported just days ago. It seems that the former senator, John Edwards, was involved in a late-night sparring session with tabloid reporters earlier this week.
The 2:00 a.m. confrontation was confirmed by a Beverly Hilton Hotel security guard who witnessed a visibly shaken Edwards in the hotel's bathroom.
The unnamed guard tells FOX that Edwards was not a registered guest at the hotel, plus the former presidential candidate needed a security escort to get past the riled up reporters.
But why were the reporters chasing Edwards and why is this story nowhere in the mainstream media?
Joining us now for more in the breaking story, Townhall.com columnist, Amanda Carpenter.
Amanda, thanks for being with us.
AMANDA CARPENTER, TOWNHALL.COM COLUMNIST: Thank you.
HANNITY: All right. Let me — it doesn't look good, 2:00 a.m., you're not a registered guest, you're in a hotel, you see reporters, you hide in a bathroom for 15 minutes.
What's going on?
CARPENTER: Well, I think it's important to start at the beginning. And we got to talk about the only things that we know because this is a sensitive topic.
"National Enquirer" reporters were staking out the Beverly Hills Hilton because they were acting on a hunch that a woman named Rielle Hunter was staying there, who they believe Edwards has fathered a child with.
Lo and behold, John Edwards did approach the building at 9:45 that night. When he tried to came down — come down the building in a very particular way — not going traditional routes through the lobby — at 2:30 a.m, the "National Enquirer' reporters confronted him.
CARPENTER: He ran into a bathroom, hid for 15 minutes, and called the guard to escort him out.
And that's how FOX News was able to confirm this happen because they spoke to a guard.
HANNITY: Well, first of all, Amanda, I hope for his sake and I hope for his family's sake it's not true.
Now there's a couple of issues here, not the least of which is, if this were Dick Cheney or Vice Presidential Quayle or any Republican, I've got to believe there'd probably be more coverage than there has been here.
Here's a couple of questions. Why did he hide in the bathroom as confirmed by the security guard if he was doing nothing wrong, number one? And number two, the "Enquirer" is saying that they have videotape of this woman entering the room and him leaving the same room, and again, this is at 2:00 a.m. in the morning.
Why haven't they released the tape?
CARPENTER: Well, I can't say that. They might be wanting to hold that for their next print edition to sell more copies. Maybe they're trying to confirm another angle as well. But given John Edwards' status in this presidential election — he is rumored to possibly be a vice president, maybe even a Cabinet member as attorney general — I think it's important that he does answer a few questions.
One, namely, Mr. Edwards, were you there? Secondly, what were you doing there and please explain your relationship to Miss Hunter.
CARPENTER: I think these are basic questions any media outlet should be interested in and I think, given his stature in this election, he will have to start talking about.
HANNITY: Amanda, I don't know what the truth is, and I'm — again, I'm a family values guy and his wife is sick and we wish her all the best. But I wonder if you think there would be a double standard, if it were a Republican?
CARPENTER: I hate to say that, because, I mean, I explained the questions I think need to be answered but there are reports from the "L.A. Times" putting kind of a speak code on their bloggers saying.
HANNITY: Yes, that's true.
CARPENTER: . please don't discuss this and (INAUDIBLE). So there just seems to be a will that's squelched these rumors or whatever they may be right now, and not pursue the story.
HANNITY: But Amanda, there's a lot of this foot-tapping story, this Republican senator, but there wasn't a lot of evidence that there was any truth to that, now it's covered to death. Isn't that.
CARPENTER: Well, yes, there is a pattern that's happening. They did the same thing with Vito Fossella a few months ago. It does seems to be there's a lot more eagerness to go after these kinds of sex scandals when they're Republicans but I think given.
COLMES: Well we don't.
CARPENTER: . the evidence that's surrounding this case right now, I do think that John Edwards is going to have to talk about it.
COLMES: Amanda, it's Alan.
CARPENTER: I think people are going to want to find out more.
COLMES: We don't know that there's a sex scandal. I hope it's not. Vito Fosella — he was arrested for driving drunk and Larry Craig was charged with a crime at the time as well. There has been no crime charge here, so we've got very different sets of circumstances.
I hope it's not true. But we have any — I mean we don't have any evidence that anything happened other than, apparently, a confrontation with reporters or an attempt for reporters to get to him, and him then, having spent time in a bath room downstairs in the hotel, eventually being escorted out of the hotel.
That's all we know right now, right?
CARPENTER: Those are very curious circumstances. I think there's going to be national interest in this story, like I said, given the status that he has this election. We'll see whether other stories come out of this. I mean FOX News has been the only place that (INAUDIBLE)
HANNITY: Why was he there?
COLMES: Hold on. One other thing is that, he is not a public official at this point. He is not an elected official. He has not been appointed as - - or nominated for VP. He's not nominated for attorney general. There's talk of that, but at the moment, he's a private citizen.
Does he have a right, whatever happened — and I got to hope nothing happened — but does he have a right to a private life?
CARPENTER: Well, when you have a high profile like he does, you're still running a very high profile poverty campaign. In fact, that's what he was doing in L.A. and then going to Denver the next day to talk about, I don't think he gets to claim the private life, you know, claim right now.
We'll see. I wish him the best. I hate to think about what this will do to his family and I really hope we can find out what happened.
COLMES: Well, we all agree with that.
CARPENTER: And everybody stays fine.
COLMES: But he doesn't have a right to claim at the moment that he's a private citizen?
CARPENTER: Well, not when you're campaigning nationally on poverty and other things to that nature. I'm sad to say that's the life he chose for himself and that's, unfortunately, why he's on your show right now.
COLMES: What is campaigning nationally about poverty have to do with whatever he's doing in his private life? I mean this is not about poverty. This is an alleged sex scandal, if that's what it is.
CARPENTER: By one of the.
COLMES: It has nothing to do with the issue of poverty.
CARPENTER: He's high-profile politician. I really don't think I need to explain why this is an important story. It is an important story. People are going to continue to talk about it. FOX News is luckily — independently confirmed what the "Enquirer" has found out so far.
I doubt other places like the "Washington Post" would be investing resources to go after this kind of thing. It is important because he is being considered for vice president and possibly attorney general.
These are very widely reported things that he may be pursuing. And that's why it's an important story.
COLMES: All right, Amanda. We thank you very much for being with us tonight. Thank you for your time coming on the program.
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