Will DeLay's Name on the Ballot Give the Democrats a Win?

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," July 10, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Joining us now, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay is back with us. Congressman, thanks for being with us.


HANNITY: All right. So you're in, you're out; you're in, you're out. But now we have this ruling by Judge Sam Sparks that your name remains on the ballot in Texas. Tell us what's happening here?

DELAY: Well, first of all, his ruling was more a policy paper than anything else. It had no — I mean, he virtually declared Texas election law unconstitutional. If we followed his reasoning, this country would be in chaos when it comes to electing anybody.

I'm a resident of Virginia. I stepped down for personal reasons, felt like I was doing the right thing. I moved to Virginia. I've created my own private legal trust fund. I've hired a speaker's bureau. I actually teamed up with one of your friends, Stephen Mansfield, in writing a book. All of that is centered in Washington, D.C.

The Texas law says if you aren't a resident of the state, you are ineligible to run. It's pretty simple. But the Democrats can't win at the ballot box, so they always try the courts.

HANNITY: All right. But now the Democrats sued to keep the GOP, the Republicans, from removing your name from the ballot in Texas. They want your name on the ballot. They think that will benefit them in this particular race.

Two questions, why do you think that's so? And if in fact this ruling stands — and I know there's going to be an appeal before the New Orleans Fifth Circuit -- If this ruling stands, is there a possibility, congressman, that you get back into politics and that you'll run [in] this election?

DELAY: Well, first of all, Sean, I don't think the Fifth Circuit is going to do what the Democrat, Judge Sam Sparks, did. I think they'll read the law, and they will protect the rights of the voters of the 22nd District of Texas and the rights of the Republican Party to have who they want and give the voters a choice.

Who knows what's going to happen. We'll wait until after that. But I guarantee you, we're not going to let the Democrat from Beaumont, Texas, 90 miles away from Houston, come in and represent the 22nd District.

HANNITY: Can I take that to mean if that decision doesn't come back the way you would want it to come back, meaning your name would be removed from the ballot, that you would have no choice but to return to elected politics already?

DELAY: Well, let's wait and see what the decision is. I think they're going to make the right decision. And the Republican Party will replace me with a good candidate.

HANNITY: All right. Let's assess the elections. I keep reading these stories that Nancy Pelosi is picking out the carpet and the drapes -- there seems to be a level of confidence.

We see, by all objective measure, what about 36 competitive races, by those that seem to know best around the country. -- That would be enough for the Democrats, if they can win all those, to take over the House of Representatives.

Do you think that can happen, your analysis of these districts? You know these races. Do you think the Democrats can get back in power?

DELAY: Sean, as you know, I've been dealing with this for a long time. And I really take a hard look at these races, and I just don't see it. The Democrats are self-imploding. Their recruiting was really horrible.

I mean, you look at the race in North Carolina. They had a third tier candidate that no longer is there. The candidate in — John Hostettler in Indiana is self-imploding. They took on Rep. Hart in Pennsylvania and Tim Murphy in Pennsylvania, two very tough congressmen.

They haven't done a very good job. They don't have an agenda. You can't beat something with nothing. They'd have to win over half of the seats that are in play, and I just don't see where they can do it.

HANNITY: A hundred and twenty days from now is the election. If you had to predict and looked into your crystal ball, will the Democrats pick up seats, and if you had to predict, which way is it going to go?

DELAY: Well, I think if the election was held today, the Democrats would pick up some seats, but not enough to get the majority.

HANNITY: About how many?

DELAY: But I like what I'm seeing. I like the kinds of campaigns that are going on. I like what we've got planned for the Democrats. And I particularly like that the Democrats are scared to death to come and tell the American people what they would do in the future for this country.

HANNITY: If you had to guess how many seats they could pick up or will pick up, if your guess was today, what guess would you give?

DELAY: I don't know. I really don't want to put a number on it. But I would think they could pick up five to six seats maybe, but not by the time we get to November. I am planning and working very hard for a net increase in seats, maybe one or two.

HANNITY: All right. Let me ask you. How do you analyze the situation with Joe Lieberman, where people like Russ Feingold and John Kerry, I mean, he's been there 18 years for the Democrats. He was No. 2 on their ticket back in 2000. They won't even come out and endorse him in the primary.

Al Gore won't endorse him in the primary. And Hillary [Clinton] goes way out of her way to tell everybody that if he doesn't win the primary and runs as an independent, she won't support him.

He votes with the Democrats 90 percent of the time, but he agrees with George Bush on the war. Is that indicative of some of the problems the Democrats have? How do you analyze the Lieberman situation?

DELAY: Oh, I just love the Democrats. And they never cease to amaze me. It's just amazing that they are constantly eating their own. And the shrillest, the most liberal of their party are taking over and now run the party.

So if you don't line up with the most leftist of their party, then they come in and they eat you. And what that means is, their party is shrinking and getting smaller and smaller and shriller and shriller. And they're going to be a permanent minority for a very long time.

HANNITY: Let me ask you one nonpolitical question. Obviously, we have the situation with North Korea, the firing of missiles. The situation seems to be getting ratcheted up every day.

Should the administration be ready for some type of preemptive action if they keep putting these missiles on the pad? We don't know what's on those missiles. Should we be prepared to act?

DELAY: Well, Sean, I think this president has shown moral leadership, and he understands that North Korea has its problems. Iran has their problems. You have got to take each situation based upon how you find it and how — and what you can achieve. I think going towards the diplomatic route right now is good as long as we are in the lead, as long as we're staying strong, as long as we're not appeasing.

One thing I would suggest to the Bush administration is pull a little trick out of Ronald Reagan's book and start supporting people that want to overthrow these regimes in Iran and North Korea. North Korea is broke and bankrupt, and that regime is on its last legs. We ought to help them.

HANNITY: All right. Thanks for being with us, Congressman — maybe even congressman-to-be again. We don't know. Tom DeLay, thanks for being with us. Appreciate your time.

DELAY: My pleasure, Sean.

HANNITY: Thanks.

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