Can Reid Survive Anti-Incumbent Sentiment?

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This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," June 8, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Joining me now with analysis of tonight's Republican primary in Nevada are former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and former adviser to President George W. Bush and the chairman of the Republican State Leadership Committee, the one and only Ed Gillespie.

Guys, welcome to the — welcome back to the program this election night.

ED GILLESPIE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Good to be back, Sean. Thank you.


HANNITY: Senator, let me go to you first. I think we learned a lot in Pennsylvania in the 12th District seat there. That was the former John Murtha seat. Democrats won. Democrats went nuts; they were bragging about it.

But to win, they ran a candidate that was pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, a candidate that ran against health care, ran as far away from Obama, ran against cap and tax. And he almost sounded as conservative as me.

When the president showed up in Pennsylvania last week, no Democrat wanted to be around him. What do you read into all this?

SANTORUM: Well, I mean, I read into this exactly what you just suggested, that no one is looking to run under Barack Obama's coattails. And even worse in the Pennsylvania 12th District, what people forget, that there was a Republican primary that night, too. And 2,000 people who — who voted against our candidate in the primary that day, wrote in the person that they were — they voted for in the primary for the general.

So we had a big drop-off. It was a confluence of events that they won a lucky race in PA-12. My prediction is Burns — Scott — not Burns. Burns is going to win that race in the fall over Mark Critz, and he will not — and Critz will not have Obama anywhere near Pennsylvania when that happens, by the way.

HANNITY: And when, by a wide margin, ABC-Washington Post polls 60-37 percent, the country is saying that we are seriously off on the wrong track. A hundred and forty-seven days outside of a midterm election. We're watching the primaries tonight, but does a lot of this go back to the president and the fact that he didn't have executive experience? Maybe why he hasn't been able to deal with the Gulf oil spill, for example?

GILLESPIE: I think that's a large factor now, Sean. I think people are quickly coming to the conclusion this president may not be up for the office, may not be up for the job. And that's a major determination if the voters come to that conclusion.

I think they've already determined that he's much more liberal than they anticipated. This is a very far-left president. And, you know, going back to Nevada, Harry Reid is not going to be able to run against health care or the stimulus or do some of the things that Democrats who are running for open seats who haven't had to cast these votes have been able to do like they did in Pennsylvania 12.

The fact is, is that Senator Reid has carried all of this water as — as the Democratic leader in the Senate and cast these votes. And I think he's going to pay, you know, the ultimate price for it, come November.

HANNITY: I tend to agree with you. And it's interesting to watch the Tea Party candidate come on strong in the final hours there. Reminds me a little bit of what happened, I think, in Kentucky with Rand Paul.

Let me ask both of you — we don't have a lot of time left. Senator, we'll start with you. Do you think Harry Reid, with his approval rating in the 30s, has a chance to come back and pull this out in the general?

SANTORUM: He's got $17 million, and that's a lot of money. And, you know, let's wait and see what happens in this primary. I mean, this has been not what, I think, folks had hoped for.

This has been a very divisive Republican primary. The person who sort of emerged here at the end is like what happened in South Carolina. Someone who was sort of — South Carolina governor's race, someone who's at the back of the pack because of some endorsements from the Tea Party and others sort of surged up. I don't think necessarily been really vetted that well. And people don't know that much about him.

It's — but the momentum is clearly with Sharron Angle. And let's just put it this way: I think Harry Reid is hoping she wins this primary. That is not a good sign for us.

HANNITY: Real quick, do you think Harry Reid can pull this out?

GILLESPIE: No, I don't. He's got 100 percent name ID. Even if he had $170 million to spend attacking the Republican opponent, it's not going to matter. The voters in Nevada know him; they know his record.

They are ready for a change. They want someone who's going to provide a balance and a check on this administration's crazy, out-of-control spending, not someone who is going to be a rubber stamp for it.

HANNITY: All right, guys. Good to see you both. Thank you for being with us.

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