This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," July 19, 2004, that has been edited for clarity.
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SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger had a little fun over the weekend at the expense of some California lawmakers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA: I don't want to represent you. I want to represent those special interests and the union, the trial lawyers (UNINTELLIGIBLE). I call them girlie men.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: All right. But the only people who aren't laughing are Democrats.
Joining us now, nationally syndicated radio talk-show host Laura Ingraham. Democratic strategist, FOX News political analyst, Bob Beckel.
Bob, tell me you're not going to fall into this P.C. camp. Tell me you understand it was a joke and it was funny. And we can discuss some other matters.
BOB BECKEL, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: You know, what's nice about being a liberal, I don't have to be P.C., Sean. But you know, the thing about this was, it wasn't what he said as much as it's just dumb politics. I mean, he's got...
HANNITY: I thought it was funny.
BECKEL: Well, it was funny, but here's the difference. He's got to get a budget negotiated with the Senate and a House that are full of Democrats.
I always thought Schwarzenegger was a lot better politician than a lot of my colleagues did, but you don't do this. And as this guy in the Senate said to me today in California, who's going to be the first girlie man to cut a deal with Schwarzenegger? And he's still got to have a budget.
HANNITY: You know what it is, though? And for those that didn't understand, I mean this was a big "Saturday Night Live" routine that went on for years.
BECKEL: Right, right, right, right.
HANNITY: But you have some of these Democrats out there, you know, calling him a homophobic and misogynist and all this. That's silly. You admit that's silly?
BECKEL: Oh, sure. A lot of people aren't old enough to remember it. I certainly am. It goes back to that "Saturday Night Live" skit.
HANNITY: Hans and Franz.
HANNITY: Look, I mean, Laura, if they're going to take the rhetoric issue and put it on the table, Democrats constantly refer to the president as a liar.
There's been more hate speech from Al Gore than I think I've ever heard in that lifetime, suggesting the president knew about 9/11, he's assassinating civilians. I mean, all these conspiracy theories, now led by Max Cleland tonight.
So I thought it was funny. I thought it was funny.
LAURA INGRAHAM, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Yes, I think it was pretty fairly. Classic Arnold, he loves to go back into the treasure trove of old Arnold movies and make these cracks.
It's a sad situation now in American life, let alone in American politics, that you can't just make a joke and just leave it at that.
They are saying that Bush cooked up the war in Texas and making the most outrageous substantive charges against President Bush. And Arnold makes this rather, I don't know, it was kind of a soft comment. And it was mildly amusing. And people are making it — it's a waste of breath to even talk about it.
HANNITY: And I think this is one of the things, Bob, I'm looking at, is liberals can dish it out, but they can't seem to take it.
This is one of these things that I think universally everybody should have laughed at, or should have understood the cultural reference to "Saturday Night Live."
And here we are, we're turning it into a big deal. It's just...
BECKEL: Hey, Sean, I listen to your radio show every day, and I listen to Laura every day. And both of your shows are great until you get to the substance.
And you dish it out on us all the time. Please, give me a break on that, all right?
You know, I didn't fall off the turnip truck last night. But having said that, you know, George Bush would never have said, for example, if he was in negotiations with a budget, even with the Republican-controlled Congress, wouldn't say girlie men.
It's just pure politics. It was dumb from that standpoint.
HANNITY: Bob, there was a point there. He's saying these guys are representing the self-interest, the trial lawyers, and they're not representing the people.
And if they were strong enough, they'd go before the people and take the positions that they're taking behind closed doors.
That's the point he was making.
BECKEL: I'll tell you what, Sean, let's get back together when they get a budget in California and see whether it seemed like such a smart...
HANNITY: They're underestimating him.
BECKEL: There was a lot of other things. I think he actually had a flashback back to one of his movie sets.
ALAN COLMES, HOST: Laura, but I happen to agree with Sean and with Laura on this. And I don't think Bob is actually much of a hard-liner on this, either.
This was a joke. He was actually kind of mocking himself, because the Hans and Franz routine was mocking him on "Saturday Night Live," and he was mocking that whole thing which mocked him. So...
INGRAHAM: Actually, Alan...
INGRAHAM: Alan, if we're in agreement, I think I have to reconsider my position, if you and I are agreeing on this.
I actually — I found it amazingly offensive that Arnold Schwarzenegger would say that.
Now, one thing one thing I think might be going on here is that Arnold has had a pretty good track record early on in his governorship. And it's been surprising to a lot of Democrats that a lot of Democrats have ended up sort of saying, "Wow, this guy actually might be serious and might be doing a pretty good job."
This is a convenient way to kind of get off on Arnold's success.
COLMES: Bob, you have to admit that Democratic should not be fighting this battle. This is not where we should be directing our energies, Bob. This is a joke, we can let it pass, right?
BECKEL: Absolutely, but Alan, let me get back to what Laura said. You know, it's getting to the point now where partisan politics has always be good for the country. I think it's part of the democracy. You find the consensus generally represents the whole of the country.
The problem now is it's getting so partisan and so nasty and this election, — I'm amazed by it. And not many things shock me in politics, but the level of the discourse and I think it's going to cost us for the long run.
And we ought to get back to talking about some things that matter.
COLMES: I agree. And by the way, Laura, let me just say that Schwarzenegger, actually he was factually incorrect, because now that he's being pressed by Republicans to renege on two laws in California to get Republicans to vote for the budget, one having to do with contracts in school, one having to do with whether you can sue your employer or not.
He is going to cater to special interests if he does this, and he's the one who's going to be caving to special interest. That's where I've got the issue with Arnold Schwarzenegger, not the silly and kind of funny joke he told.
INGRAHAM: Well, he's been juggling a lot of balls in the air in California. I've been trying to study politics in California for 20 years and I still haven't figured it out. So good luck to Arnold.
Democrats have officially lost their sense of humor if they're complaining about this.
COLMES: Well, they're not only complaining about that.
INGRAHAM: I thought it was bad when Whoopi Goldberg was trying to be funny. I mean, at least he's actually funny on occasion, unlike Whoopi, who's never funny.
BECKEL: Well, I mean, Laura, you've got sense of humor and Sean has got a sense of humor, but I'll tell you, if you show me a bunch of Republicans with a sense of humor, I mean, I've been looking for them for years and I can't find them.
INGRAHAM: P.J. O'Rourke.
BECKEL: I mean, they are so stoic and so serious. I mean, where did they all go? P.J., OK, P.J., I agree with you.
BECKEL: But you know, I mean, a lot of these guys — Tom DeLay is not exactly what you would call knockdown funny.
HANNITY: I have a sense of humor, Bob, and we invited you on the show.
INGRAHAM: Robert Byrd has a lot of (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
BECKEL: That's what I said. I said you did.
HANNITY: I'm kidding. It was a joke.
Good to see you, Bob. Laura, we love having you on.
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