Murtha Remarks Helping McCain in Pa.?

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," October 22, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Congressman John Murtha recently sat down with the "Pittsburgh Post-Gazette" to talk about Pennsylvania voters and their role in this election, but his response is still haunting him today.

Take a look.


JOHN MURTHA (D), PENNSYLVANIA CONGRESSMAN: Well, they're going to have a tough time. You know, I — there's no question, western Pennsylvania is a racist area. When I say a racist area, I mean they — the older people are hesitant, you know, they're slow in seeing change, real change.


HANNITY: Murtha looked to clarify his comments on Monday, but instead, he seemed to offer more of the same.


MURTHA: What I said was — that indicted everybody. That's not what I meant at all. What I mean is there are still folks that have a problem voting for somebody because they're black.

This whole area, years ago, was really redneck, particularly older people. They're hesitant. You know they don't want — they want change, but they don't want to see things go too far.


HANNITY: Murtha's state, of course, is a battleground state, so could his comments actually end up helping John McCain?

Joining us now with reaction, Pennsylvania governor, Ed Rendell.

Governor, good to see you again. Appreciate it. You're quoted as saying that you're worried about the state of Pennsylvania for Barack Obama, that you have asked Obama to come back to the state.

There's one report out today that the polls, internal polls, of the Obama campaign show it's a two-point race.

Do you think it's that close? And why do you want him back?

ED RENDELL, PENNSYLVANIA GOVERNOR: No, I think the most recent external latest poll, (INAUDIBLE) poll, had it at eight points, and I think that's about right, Sean.

Video: Watch the 'Hannity & Colmes' interview with Governor Ed Rendell

But this is a very fluid race. I was listening to your conversation with Karl Rove, and a.


RENDELL: . a lot can happen in the last 13 days, and I want to make sure we win, and I think his presence.

HANNITY: All right.

RENDELL: . is important to making sure we win.

HANNITY: Well, you know, first of all, I was an old Bernie Peron, Bobby Clark, you know — Reggie Leach flyers fan. By the way, on Long Island I took a lot of heat for that. So you know what a fan of Philly I am.

RENDELL: Absolutely.

HANNITY: And of the state of Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh. I'm really disturbed. Now in San Francisco, Barack Obama said about people in your state that they're bitter, that they cling to their guns and religion, and they have antipathy towards those that aren't like them.

We just heard from John Murtha. He's calling people in your state racist and redneck. Now I know people in Pennsylvania. It's the heart and soul of this country, hard-working, dedicated, religious people, faith, family, country.

You know, why should anybody in Pennsylvania vote for Obama or Murtha based on those statements?

RENDELL: I don't think people are listening to that stuff, Sean. I think in.

HANNITY: Why shouldn't — wait a minute. Why shouldn't they listen to that? They said it.

RENDELL: Because right now what's paramount to almost every Pennsylvania family is what's going to help their budget, their bottom line, and I heard your discussion with Karl Rove.

Karl did not point out that for working families who make less than $250,000 a year.

HANNITY: All right.

RENDELL: Let me finish. You let Karl Rove finish.


RENDELL: Barack Obama will not only not raise their taxes, he will cut their taxes.

HANNITY: But let me ask you this.

RENDELL: . three times more than John McCain.

HANNITY: Hang on a second.

RENDELL: Number one. Number one.

HANNITY: No, wait, wait. I don't have a lot of time, and Alan is going to let you say anything you want, so this is important.


HANNITY: But this is — this is important. You know something. Because first of all, he's going to raise taxes, increase spending. This is the Obama plan.

RENDELL: He's not going to raise taxes.

HANNITY: Oh, yes, he is. Oh, yes, he is.

RENDELL: Not on ordinary working Pennsylvanians.

HANNITY: Wait a second.

RENDELL: The Tax Policy Institute says he will cut.

HANNITY: He said redistribute wealth, spread it he said. But let me focus on my question. I don't want to talk tax policy. Wait a minute.

I'm a Pennsylvania.

RENDELL: I know you don't.

HANNITY: I'm a coal miner, I'm blue-collar worker.

COLMES: You're a coal miner?

HANNITY: I'm a plumber, I'm a carpenter, and I work in Pennsylvania. And this guy in San Francisco, among his millionaire friends, says I'm bitter. I cling to my guns and my bible and I don't like people who aren't like me. Why should I overlook that or for any reason? Really? Are we really address that?

RENDELL: Because there are more important things in your life. You know if you're drowning in the middle of it.

HANNITY: Called a racist?

RENDELL: If you're drowning in the middle of a river, and you see a guy in the river bank, and he's got a coil of rope, you don't care what color he is, you don't care what religion he is.


RENDELL: . you care if he has a strong enough arm to get that rope out to me in the middle of the river.

Barack Obama has, by far, the best economic plan. John McCain has said he doesn't know anything about the economy, he said the fundamentals of the economy are strong, and then an hour later he said it was a crisis. He doesn't have a clue.

COLMES: And Obama is doing well in your state.

RENDELL: And Obama is doing well because he's giving people the right answers.

COLMES: Welcome back to our show. Look, you know, you had — they go after what Murtha said, and I wouldn't have said what he said, but you know, they don't have a problem saying phrases like San Francisco values to put down another part of the country.

You have people like Robin Hayes of North Carolina says liberals hate real Americans. You have Sarah Palin saying, I'm great — I love talking here in North Carolina to the — pro-America part of the country.

What's the rest of — what about the rest us?


COLMES: Aren't they denouncing a whole part of the country.

HANNITY: Learjet liberals.

COLMES: I thought we'd let Ed speak now.

HANNITY: All right, go ahead.

COLMES: Go ahead.

RENDELL: They are actually — you're absolutely right, Alan, but look, the point is, the American people are smarter than all of us, all of you on TV. All of us politicians.

COLMES: That's true.

RENDELL: They sift through all of that BS, and they look at the real issues, and for them there's only one real issue.

If you're a senior, if you're a senior, Sean, you just heard in "Wall Street Journal" John McCain's economic advisors say they're going to tax — and take it out.

HANNITY: Read the Wall Street Journal today.

COLMES: Hold on.


RENDELL: Wait. Wait. Let me finish.

HANNITY: Go ahead.

RENDELL: $1.3 trillion is going to come out of Medicare and Medicaid. That means higher premiums, that means lower benefits. Why in the world would you vote for John McCain after that?

COLMES: The other thing, Governor, is, you know, they keep saying that Obama's going to do these giveaways. John McCain is giving a $5,000 tax credit — health credit to everybody. Isn't that a giveaway? Sarah Palin gave $1200 to everybody in Alaska with oil profit revenues.

RENDELL: Absolutely.

COLMES: That's a giveaway.

RENDELL: And didn't we — didn't the Bush administration just give a ton of money to Wall Street banks and investment firms? That's a giveaway.

COLMES: All right, Governor.

RENDELL: I mean it depends whose ox is being gored. But the bottom line is, on economic issues it's Barack Obama in a walk away.

COLMES: And people are getting that message.

Thank you very much for being with us tonight.

Watch "Hannity & Colmes" weeknights at 9 p.m. ET!

Content and Programming Copyright 2008 FOX News Network, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2008 ASC LLC (, 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 Voxant Inc.'s copyrights or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.