This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," January 11, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Earlier today I spoke with Vice President Dick Cheney on my radio show.

Let's take a look and a listen.


HANNITY: I want these hearings to go on for another month or so. I think politically it's going to be good for the country.

DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes, it's been fascinating. I've been watching some here in the office, and I think Judge Alito has acquitted himself very well, and I can't say the same for some of the senators.

HANNITY: Well, it makes for good entertainment. I think it actually exposes what has happened to a once great party, the Democratic Party.

But putting politics aside for just a second, when Joe Biden can literally go 12 minutes without asking a question and only ask five questions in a half-hour, it sort of reinforces Senator Cornyn's point that he doesn't think that anybody — that everyone's already decided to vote against him and they're just looking now for reasons to do so. Do you sense that?

CHENEY: Yes, I think there's some preconceived judgments being made on the other side, but a couple of things are working here, Sean. I don't often agree with what I see in the New York Times, although they had a great headline today you may have already talked about: "But Enough About You, Judge, Let's Hear What I Have to Say." To the senators (ph).

And the fact of the matter is, the judge has proven he approaches matters with a fair and open mind, and it's pretty clear that some of the senators don't.

HANNITY: It's clear that they want to make the issue of presidential power a big part of these hearings. I would argue to politicize it and bring up the issue of NSA spying. Would you want to respond to that?

CHENEY: Well, I think what they're doing, there are legitimate issues, obviously, involved in a lot of these questions. I think the focus on that issue, the NSA program, in part, is generated because they haven't found anything else they can go after him on.

He's, of course, a man who has been on the bench for 15 years and been involved in thousands of cases and written hundreds of opinions himself. And going through that whole record they have trouble finding anything to criticize. So now they're trying to get him involved in an issue that's not yet before the courts.

And but I think it's all part and parcel of an effort by some of the special — some of the outside groups, aided and abetted by some of the members of the committee, to try to find some excuse to vote against what obviously is a top quality nominee.

HANNITY: The president, both yesterday and today, has come out very strongly in defense of his Iraq policy. And he said for those to watch — risk giving comfort to our adversaries, that they may suffer at the ballot box in November.

He talked about the American people. He distinguished between honest critics and partisan critics, that the American people know the difference between loyal opposition, to point out what's wrong, and defeatists who refuse to see anything that's right.

CHENEY: Right, he's made a series of speeches now over the last, oh, two months. We both have. But he's taken the lead on this. But I think it's very important in terms of reminding everybody what's at stake in Iraq, giving the American people progress reports, so they know what's happening, both in the political realm as well as the security and military realm over there.

And I think we've had a lot of good news out of Iraq over the course of the last year. It's hard sometimes to see through that, given the continued level of violence, obviously.

But when you look at the fact that they've made every political deadline that's been set: January elections, wrote a constitution in the summer, ratified it in October, national elections in December. It's been a — I think a remarkable success story so far.

We've still got a lot of work to do, but I think the president has made the point repeatedly out there that the only way we lose is if we pack is it in and go home. And we're clearly not going to do that.

HANNITY: Howard Dean said the idea that we're going to win the war is an idea that unfortunately is plain wrong. John Kerry said that there's no reason young American soldiers need to be going into the home of Iraqis in the dead of night, terrorizing kids, children and women and breaking the customs, et cetera.

When you hear that, what is your reaction? And do you think it's — it puts our troops in greater harm?

CHENEY: Well, I think it's unfortunate. I take those comments as being offered primarily for political reasons. I don't think Howard Dean has ever given any thoughtful consideration to what's going on over there. He certainly hasn't indicated that by any of his public statements. And of course, John Kerry's views were aired pretty thoroughly during the last campaign.

The fact of the matter is that we have, in fact, come a very long way and made significant process in Iraq and Afghanistan, having liberated 50 million people and gotten a good start in building democracies in both places and having — helping them build their own security forces. It's a remarkable achievement that's due primarily to the enormous capability and courage of the American military and the president's leadership. And I think history will judge him very favorably.


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