Obama Supporter Bill Bradley on What Happened in New Hampshire

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This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," January 9, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, "HANNITY & COLMES" CO-HOST: In a surprising twist, Barack Obama lost to Hillary Clinton in the New Hampshire primary last night. Early exit polls had the Illinois senator winning, but when all was said and done, Hillary Clinton took the gold. The Obama campaign says it's keeping up its momentum from Iowa and looking forward towards Nevada, where Obama just won support from the Culinary Workers Union.

Joining us now, the author of "The New American Story" — it's now available, by the way, in bookstores — former Senator — more importantly, forget that, former New York Knick player — there we are — Bill Bradley is with us. And by the way, he's supporting Barack Obama. I've watched — forget about that — I was the biggest New York Knick fan when I was a kid growing up, and I watched you. And then you became a Democrat and broke my heart. What happened?

BILL BRADLEY, "THE NEW AMERICAN STORY": You've got to live with complexity.

HANNITY: It's great to see you. First of all, for those that say it was such a big win for Hillary, a month ago or so, she was up 22 points in New Hampshire. She barely eked out a win after the loss in Iowa. I know she's feeling better today, but Barack Obama had a strong showing last night.

BRADLEY: What was averted was the end of the campaign, and in the long run, it might actually help Barack Obama to have gone through this. He's going to be tested in the fall against the Republican, and it might as well be tested in a primary with a longer campaign.

HANNITY: Do you really think he has the experience? The Hillary campaign is saying he started running from the first year he was in the Senate. Does he need a little more experience?

BRADLEY: You know, Sean, I'd rather have someone with good judgment and less experience than someone with bad judgment and more experience.

HANNITY: Oh. Then you're saying Hillary has bad judgment?

BRADLEY: Case and point, the Iraq War. Who opposed it from the beginning, who voted for it and then tried to find a way to explain it.

HANNITY: By transference, then I had bad experience because I thought that was the right thing to do and still believe it's the case. I want to ask you something controversial about Barack Obama that has not gotten a lot of play. We've invited him on the program. He won't come on. He has a controversial pastor. His name is Pastor Jeremiah Wright. And on his thing, he asked people to pledge to acquire skills available to the black community, strengthening black institutions, pledging allegiance to all black leadership who have embraced the black value system, personal commitment to the black value system.

That sounds divisive to me, and if you replace the work black with white, wouldn't some people call that racist?

BRADLEY: I mean, I don't know what's the composition of his church. If his church is all black, then it sounds to me like he's addressing his parishioners very directly. So you'd have to know...

HANNITY: As I understand, it's a mixed congregation. But to specifically divide like that along racial lines, I'm only asking the question in this context —

BRADLEY: Yes, I don't think that whoever is Barack Obama's pastor is relevant. I think the question is, "what about Brack Obama?"

HANNITY: You don't think so. After all the —

BRADLEY: What does he believe, and what is it going to mean to the country. And to me, unless we can get people to believe in our democracy, then we're not going to be able to do the things we need to do on health, education, taxes, whatever the issue.

HANNITY: If we had five hours, we would have disagreements on raising taxes, not raising taxes, leaving Iraq, finishing the job, staying on offensive on the war on terror.

BRADLEY: I think we ought to cut tax rates.

HANNITY: For everybody.

BRADLEY: Yes, we ought to cut tax ruts.

HANNITY: You're a Republican. Welcome back.

COLMES: No he's not.

BRADLEY: Try to eliminate loopholes. In other words, real tax reform.

HANNITY: We may have more agreement. I believe in America where you don't have guarantees results, where the government offers false promises of security. They mismanaged our Social Security fund, that money has been spent. But where people have an opportunity if they work hard, get an education, provide goods and services, that they've got that shot at the American dream.

BRADLEY: What I call it is what we need is the "ethic of connectedness." Our debate with Republicans and Democrats one is the ethic of responsibility, which is individual action, Republicans. The other is the ethic of caring, collective action, Democrats. And that's what the debate is. Yabada, yabada, yabada, yabada...

What we need is both, individual responsibility and collective action.

ALAN COLMES, "HANNITY & COMES" CO-HOST: Welcome to our show. Let me see if I can raise my chair a little bit. Thanks for being with us. Why are you supporting Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton?

BRADLEY: I think he's what the country needs. I mean, when I see Barack Obama on the stage and the spotlight — a lot of politicians when they get in the spotlight, they swell, right? But what Barack Obama does is he sees the light, and he reflects it back on the people and empowers them, and once the people really believe that they can control their own destiny, the democracy is finally responsive to them, then incredible things happen.

COLMES: Is this about tone more than substance? Because if you look at the issues does he really differ that much from Hillary Clinton or John Edwards?

BRADLEY: Well, I think that it's tone and substance. One of the good things about an extended campaign is it will be able to draw the distinctions between and among the candidates. That's what a campaign is all about. I think that it's really important to be able to get people to dream of another day. It's also important to speak directly to people about what your program will mean to them in their day-to-day lives, where people want a good job with good pay. They want health care. They want a pension if they work their whole life.

COLMES: We heard buzz words from the right, as we just heard from partner here, national health care they think is a bad thing. They accuse Democrats of wanting to raise taxes when they want to rescind the Bush tax cuts on the upper income people. So it's all a matter of how you define this stuff.

BRADLEY: I think one of Barack's points that's really an important point and a unifying point — and I agree with it — the biggest lie perpetrated on the American public in the last 40 years has been the so called red-blue divide. If you were at a little league baseball game and a parent of the shortstop is next to you, do you say, I wonder if they're red or blue?

HANNITY: He does.

COLMES: Well, actually, I have a feeling — If I got sick, before he would give me mouth to mouth resuscitation, he'd want to see if I had an ACLU card.

BRADLEY: I don't believe that. I understand this is the dynamic here, but I also think there's profound respect, and that you share a —

COLMES: We all care about America.

BRADLEY: — people should have a good job, good pay, work hard, that if they work all their life, they should — if they work all their lives — they should have a pension, and why should we fight another war because we haven't broke our addiction to oil.

COLMES: Alright. But how then do you bridge the divide between what are defined as blue states and defined as red states. There is a great divide, they're either perceived or real.

BRADLEY: There's much less divide than you imagine. And I think the way you do that is speak directly to people, specifically about the things that are important to them. And if you do that, you're going to be able to find you can get people of good will, of all parties, in a room, and resolve it. And to me, that's the challenge of leadership.

HANNITY: Hey senator, how is this form?

BRADLEY: Not bad, elbow to the ball, follow through. Your wrist needs to end up a little bit like you're picking a peach off a tree.

COLMES: I would put it differently, but —

HANNITY: Very nice.

COLMES: Thanks for being here.

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