RNC Counter Offensive Against Kerry
This is a partial transcript from "HANNITY & COLMES", June 2, 2004, that has been edited for clarity.
ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Countdown -- countdown, that is, to November 2, continues. Just, what, how many days left? 233 until the polls -- we go to the polls to elect -- 153 and counting.
But the Republicans aren't waiting for the homestretch to start bashing the left whenever they can.
In response to a meeting of liberals in Washington this week, including Howard Dean (search) and George Soros (search), the Republican National Committee has announced a new counter offensive against Senator John Kerry.
And joining us now to explain what that entails, the chairman of the RNC, Ed Gillespie.
Good to have you here in person.
ED GILLESPIE, CHAIRMAN, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: Thank you.
COLMES: You are calling, what, Soros the Daddy Warbucks of the movement.
GILLESPIE: Actually somebody else called him that.
COLMES: Are you running scared because of what these guys are doing, raising all this money?
GILLESPIE: I think it's important that people understand, here's someone who's putting -- said he's going to put $15 million -- actually, he said he'd spend his entire fortune, which we estimated to be about $15 million to defeat the president.
What's he for? What's he looking to gain? This is someone who's in favor of legalizing marijuana. MoveOn.org that he's funding opposed military intervention to remover the Taliban from Afghanistan.
The folks who are showing up there are opposed to implementing the Patriot Act (search), and they oppose the ban on partial-birth abortion.
COLMES: All respectable positions. Former governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson, Republican, was for legalizing drugs.
Listen, there's a news story out tonight that the president had discussions with a Washington attorney named Jim Sharp to possibly hire a private attorney, should he need one in the Valerie Plame (search) case.
What do you make of that?
GILLESPIE: I don't know. I just saw it on the air as I was waiting in the green room, and I suspect it indicates that the president is doing what he said he would do from the outset, which is try to make sure that all the information --
COLMES: But a private attorney?
GILLESPIE: I'm not familiar enough to comment on it. I know this. I know what the president has said, which is he has directed everyone in his administration to cooperate and make sure that if there is anyone who knows how -- and if anyone knowingly put out the name of this agent, they need to come forward.
COLMES: I just wandered if it's private attorney in case he's maybe concerned about facing a grand jury.
GILLESPIE: You know, I have no idea, and I probably -- I'm kind of new in town, but I probably shouldn't be speculating on things I don't know about.
COLMES: Let me ask you about something on your web site, the Kerry- opoly, which is kind of funny.
Players begin with $40,000, the average national household income. And then after a few trips around the board players will be millions of dollars in debt, because they borrow these homes like John Kerry has.
And you want to prove that his lifestyle is out of touch and out of reach of the average American.
I just wonder if you have a problem with the fact that Dick Cheney (search) is very rich, George W. Bush is very rich, Bill Frist is very rich. Are their lifestyles out of touch, and is that really a campaign...
GILLESPIE: We're in favor of people being successful, and I'm happy for John Kerry being successful.
But I think one of the reasons that he is in favor of higher taxes, why he opposes rooting out frivolous lawsuits from the economy...
COLMES: The top one percent of the population
GILLESPIE: Alan, he voted on the floor of the House against -- I mean, on the floor of the Senate against repealing the marriage penalty, which has a disproportionate impact on the poorer of us, and...
COLMES: He is not across the board for higher taxes. That's a misrepresentation of his position.
GILLESPIE: He is in favor of raising taxes -- but listen. He's got - - he's proposed about $1.9 trillion in new federal spending. You can't pay for all of that with $700 billion in tax increases on the top 200 -- or the -- income earners of $200,000 or more.
He's going to have to raise taxes on the middle class. And he's done it before. He'll do it again.
SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: And welcome back to the program. Thanks for being here.
I want to go back to the Soros question here for just a second here. I mean, here is a guy that has called for regime change in the United States.
He's a billionaire who's pledged to -- if he has to spend every cent he has. He's aligned himself and is funding this group MoveOn.org, that even ran ads that liken the president to Adolph Hitler (search).
GILLESPIE: Adolph Hitler, yes.
HANNITY: I mean -- and this guy can spend any amount of money because he's a, what, 527 section...
GILLESPIE: He's putting money in a 527. We fought this, unlike the old rock singer Bobby Fuller. I fought the law, and the law won.
We fought it in the Supreme Court. We fought it in the Federal Election Commission. They say that it's legal.
And now you see conservative-minded groups starting to do the same thing, but nobody is going to put $15 million in the way he's put it into MoveOn.org.
HANNITY: What do you make of the fact -- and I'll ask Bill Richardson about this later, but here is Al Gore who has aligned himself with these extremists.
HANNITY: Former vice president of the United States. He's out there, presumably, working for the Kerry campaign.
GILLESPIE: Sure. I think that he is a very bitter person, and, you know, anger is not an agenda, and I think the Democrats are going to find this as we move forward in this campaign.
The American people want to know what are you for you, and for the former vice president to say that the current president betrayed our country, for Nancy Pelosi, the leader of the Democrats in the House of Representatives to say the president is incompetent, for his...
HANNITY: Ted Kennedy.
GILLESPIE: Ted Kennedy to call the president everything under the sun.
People are tired of hearing that. They want to know what you're for, and they have no positive agenda to talk about.
HANNITY: The president has gone through a pretty tough eight-week period. I would argue probably the toughest eight weeks of his life -- of his presidency.
HANNITY: Poll numbers show that this is a dead heat.
HANNITY: It's got to make you uncomfortable at this point. What are you...
GILLESPIE: Well, eventually, I'll tell you, I'm pretty happy about what is clearly a cement floor for the president because, like you said, it has been a very tough couple of months.
But the fact is things have turned. We've turned a corner. You can see what's going on in Iraq today and the fact that we are moving toward a free and self-governing Iraq.
Look what's going on in the economy. One point one million jobs created in the past six months, and economic growth...
HANNITY: And you're going to show Kerry to be a big flip-flopper?
GILLESPIE: Well, Kerry shows himself to be the big flip-flopper. There's nothing I can say, Sean, that does any better than what John Kerry says every other day.
COLMES: Well, we'll leave it there. I think we can beat you on that score, in terms of President Bush.
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