Sen. Lindsey Graham on McCain VP Summit

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

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Memorial Day may prove to be a vice-presidential proving ground as John McCain meets with three men thought by many to be the top three contenders for the running mate spot. Florida governor, Charlie Crist, Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, and the former presidential Mitt Romney, all scheduled to attend a Memorial Day celebration at John McCain's Arizona home this weekend.

Mike Huckabee was also invited, but could not attend. There goes those chances. Campaign spokesmen are calling the event purely social. Sure.

With us now for a reaction, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham.

You're going to be there, Senator, correct?

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-S.C., MCCAIN SUPPORTER: Absolutely. Friday night is.

Video: Watch the interview with Sen. Lindsey Graham

COLMES: Where's my invitation? I — because my food taster is off this weekend so maybe it's a good thing but.

GRAHAM: You're on a different list.

COLMES: I hear you. I hear you. All right. So thanks so much.

GRAHAM: A real pleasure to me.

COLMES: Make me feel loved.

The — is this really — I know it's a barbecue. What is it — who makes the best cheeseburger? How does this work? Is that.

COLMES: For most politicians, it's a free meal, and we'll go anywhere for that but — no, it's a barbecue at John's ranch home in Arizona. It's going to be a lot of fun, and if this is an audition for vice president, I didn't get the memo so.

COLMES: Well, it may not be a formal audition. But isn't it kind of like, how do we get along? How do we mesh together? Is it — it there a good match here from an emotional give-and-take point of view? Who knows what he's thinking?

GRAHAM: Yes, I thought.

COLMES: Maybe you do. You're his friend.

GRAHAM: Yes. Well, Dr. Phil may be there and help us do his.

No, it's just people that John knows and likes, and he's going to be home for Memorial Day, and he's invited a bunch of people, some could come, and some couldn't, and I'm going to be there because, like I say, I enjoy his company, and it's a free meal.

COLMES: Let me ask you about — and this has come up today both the Hagee issue and the Rod Parsley issue. I want to put up on the screen so our audience can see what Rod Parsley has said.

GRAHAM: Yes. Yes.

COLMES: And this is an endorsement that John McCain sought and has not distanced himself from.

First, he says, "Islam is anti-Christ religion that intends through violence to conquer the world." He also said, America was founded with the intention of seeing this false religion destroyed." He says, "I believe September 11th was a generational call to arms that we can no longer ignore."

And you put that together with what John McCain said just a couple of months ago that the cold war was won, he says, by winning the hearts and minds of people, that democracy was better than communism. And it must be in our struggle with Islamic extremism.

You don't win hearts and minds by seeking and then not rejecting the endorsement of someone like Rod Parsley.

GRAHAM: I can assure you that John McCain appreciates the Islamic people of the world, Muslim nations, and understands that it is in our best interest to live in peace with moderate forces, and this war is about moderation versus extremism.

COLMES: Should he reject that endorsement?

GRAHAM: I'll leave that to John about — you know, I don't know where all this ends, but I can sure tell you as John's close friend, knowing him pretty well, that this is not who he is and not what he believes and...

COLMES: I agree with you, and I'm sure it's not what he believes.


COLMES: . just as I don't believe that Barack Obama believes everything that Jeremiah Wright says, but a lot of pressure was put on Barack Obama to renounce his pastor which he eventually did. I don't know that that level of pressure has been applied to John McCain, and should he — again, should he renounce those comments and the person who made them?

GRAHAM: Well, I certainly think — I know how he believes about the issue of religion and tolerance and I'll let John speak for himself, but you know, am I supposed not to go on NBC because I think it's liberal?

I mean I don't know, I don't know where all this ends. I'm just very comfortable with John the person. I think he'll be a great president for the country, that he will put a coalition together that will unite the country, and that he's a good man, and I think no one needs to be threatened regardless of your religion by John McCain. He understands what America is all about.

MARK STEYN, GUEST CO-HOST: Speaking of coalitions, Senator, could we get kind of a mixed ticket? There's this talk that Joe Lieberman is going to be eating the hotdogs at this Memorial Day barbecue.

GRAHAM: Absolutely, there'd be kosher, too. You know, Joe's going to be there. Joe's a great American. He transcends party. He put his political career at risk because he believed in something passionately, and that's winning this war against radical Islam, and he thought President Bush had the right policies even though he was a loyal Democrat.

And he got punished for that by He and John McCain have a similar reputation for standing up for what they believe. He's a dear friend and John is going to — I know who John's going to pick by the way.

STEYN: Really?


STEYN: Who is it?

GRAHAM: Whoever he wants. Whoever he wants.

STEYN: Well, does he want Mitt Romney? Because all the talk during primary season was that they — yes, McCain couldn't stand Romney. They didn't get on. How come he got the invitation for the kosher hotdogs?

GRAHAM: Because that was all talk. Mitt Romney's been very helpful to Senator McCain. They've campaigned throughout the country. He's raised money for him. He's a great guy and we're going to have fun out at the cabin. So you know — I guess there's just — we've got to talk about something. This is just as good as anything else, I suppose.

STEYN: So it's purely social occasion, nothing else on the agenda.

COLMES: Right. Right.

GRAHAM: I have — well, if this is an audition for vice-president by being with John, I've been doing this for eight years. It's the longest audition in the history of the world. I've traveled all over the world with John, and I've been to the ranch many times, and so have some of the other people being invited. It is literally a time together with people who could accommodate their schedules that John respects and likes, and it's no more than that.

And he'll pick a vice-presidential nominee that he thinks will help the country if something happened to him, lead the country if something happened to him, that shares his values, his principles, and his priorities. That's what he said. I know that's what he's going to do.

STEYN: We'll pretend to believe you, Senator. And enjoy the audition and the hotdogs.


COLMES: I'll double-check my mail for — I'll double-check the mail for my invitation.

GRAHAM: Yes, I'll tell you, Alan, you're on a list. Again, you're.


STEYN: Yes. Alan Colmes for vice-president, I'm sure.

More salvos are fired in the never-ending battle over appeasement politics. Barack Obama's latest round of attacks on John McCain after the break on HANNITY & COLMES.


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