Can Ryan's appeal help Romney win key swing states?

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," August 14, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Today, team Obama proves yet again they don't have a record to run on. Now earlier while campaigning in Iowa, "President Cheap Shot" attack Governor Romney while making a weak attempt to sale his energy policy. Now, the president just couldn't resist an opportunity, and brought up the old story about the Romney family dog, Seamus. Watch this.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: He said that new sources of energy like wind are imaginary. His running mate calls them a fad. During a speech a few months ago, Governor Romney even explained his energy policy this way. I am quoting here -- "You can't drive a car with a windmill on it." That's what he said about wind power. "You can't drive a car with a windmill on it." Now, I don't know if he's actually tried that. I know he's had other things on his car.


HANNITY: By the way, does the president forget that he admitted to eating a dog? Now, if that is not a sign that the Obama campaign is in panic mode, I don't know what is.

But while the president and his team of spin masters are throwing mud all in an attempt to distract you the voter, Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan, they are out on the campaign trail putting forth bold solutions about how to get this country back on track and get people back to work. Here's what Congressman Ryan said earlier today. He was in Colorado.


REP. PAUL RYAN, R-WIS., VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are offering solutions. And among those solutions we are offering are number one, make sure that we use our own energy because we have our own energy in this country.

The last week, when I was filling my truck up, it cost 100 bucks. And the only reason it cost 100 bucks is because the pump cut me off at a $100, I didn't even fill the gas tank. Enough! We have our own oil and gas. We have nuclear. We have all of the above -- wind, solar, coal, let's use it. Let's make our energy independence. Let's create jobs --


Let's stop sending jobs overseas by buying oil overseas.


HANNITY: Joining me now, former Bush adviser and Fox News contributor Karl Rove. Brother Rove, welcome back, sir.

KARL ROVE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Good to be back. Thanks for having me.

HANNITY: All right. We are going to get into this in more details later. We got to start with Biden, though. This is now become the dirtiest campaign I have seen in my lifetime. A campaign that is full of lies, distortion, propaganda, misinformation. They seem unhinged, desperate and on top -- just beneath the dignity of the office, Karl. You know? Go ahead.

ROVE: Well, you left out one thing, which is today, I think it was an appeal to racial unrest. I mean, Danville, Virginia, is on the south side of Virginia. It's an historically African-American community, strong African-American population throughout the south side of Virginia, it's where they used to have plantations. And to say, you know, we're going to put you back in chains, you know, makes it look like that the Republican ticket are going to be a bunch of slave owners, who are going to enslave African-Americans again.

I mean, this is insensitive language. We have come to expect it from Joe Biden. But I wonder, if since he was working off a teleprompter, if they didn't put this in there in order to basically make a racial appeal. I mean, it was pretty remarkable.

HANNITY: But they have a truth team member in Virginia who said it and suggested that Romney was racist. Let's see, he's a felon, he hasn't paid his taxes. You know, he wants dirty air and water -- what is left? Are they going to stab granny, slice her throat, shoot her in the head three times and then throw her over the cliff?

ROVE: Well, they have already thrown her over the cliff. But look --


HANNITY: They have to shoot her first, Karl.

ROVE: Yes, well, but you know, torturing granny. I mean, that maybe that's even too much for the Obama campaign.

HANNITY: I don't know.

ROVE: But you know, I thought the nonchalant attitude of team Obama -- we don't have a problem with Biden's comments. Well, if they don't have a problem with it, if they don't see anything wrong with it, then let's have, you know, Vice President Biden make that part of his standard stump speech and see how far it goes. I mean, the American people are not that dumb. They are in large measure turned off by this president because he spoke so beautifully about bringing us together in 2008 and now the campaign has been reduced to, you know, smear, slurs and half truths and demagoguery and then, mean-spirited appeals like we saw today from the vice president.

HANNITY: Let's look at the electoral map. Because in the end, we are looking at 12, 13 states that are going to matter the most. Now, you have you broken this down in a different colors, red for Romney, blue for Obama, pink is leaning Romney, light blue is leaning Obama, yellow is a tossup. Now, the changes in the states over the last 30 days, particularly, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Missouri, Arizona -- explain those.

ROVE: Yes, well, first of all, a couple of changes that I don't really believe which are Missouri and Georgia. They went from being solid Romney, they switched at one point ended up being -- or two points and ended up being leaning Romney. Those states are going to be in Romney's column, there's no ifs sounds or buts. Arizona, finally had a poll for a long -- it had been, we had old polling data there and it showed it as a lean Romney state. Now, it's solid Romney.

Interestingly, a new poll in Connecticut, showing that the state has drifted from solid Obama to leaning Obama. And then of course the big one, Colorado with nine Electoral College votes has gone from lean Obama to tossup.

Now, there are two other things not reflected in that map that you just showed that are reality. One is, look, South Carolina, which, you know, the last poll we have there is from December. Finally, Joe Trippi, Howard Dean's former manager and Bret Baier and I discussed, we are just going to put it where it ought to be which is in the Romney column, which it raises his total by nine.

The other one is, I think we are likely to see some change here in the next week or two in Ohio with 18 electoral votes and Wisconsin with 10. Ohio is a tossup state. It has only been moved recently into the lean Obama column by the presence of one poll which was overly large Democratic sample. The next poll or two is going to put that state right back into the tossup category. And Ryan's presence on the ticket I think is likely to result in Wisconsin moving from lean Obama to tossup.

HANNITY: All right. I tend to agree with all that analysis. But there is an Ohio poll that we can take a look at. Ohio's key in this race. This is the latest Rasmussen, it's dead even, it's 45-45. Now, the Rasmussen report also showed Ohio's opinion of Paul Ryan, Midwestern guy, 51 percent favorable, 39 unfavorable. Certainly helpful for Ohio. What do you think?

ROVE: Look, I think we are likely to see this duplicated in a lot of places. As people get to know this attractive 42-year-old, very thoughtful, reasonable, sensible, constructive member of the Congress, they are going to say, that's a good choice by Romney. And not only that, but he's a truth teller who takes his complex issues about deficit, debt and government and breaks it down in terms that we can understand.

Look, Paul Ryan's district was won by Bill Clinton twice, won by Al Gore, won by Barack Obama and yet after his first race, which he won with 57 percent of vote, Paul has been re-elected six times with between 63 and 68 percent of the vote. And in a blue-collar, Democratic-leaning district, he's able to carry the message to the kind of people that they're going to decide this election.

HANNITY: You are right. Every, you know, modern Democratic president has won Ryan's district. Interestingly, Obama won it by four points, he's still got 60-some-odd percent.

ROVE: Sixty eight.

HANNITY: Well, he split the ticket. People split the ticket. One out of five Obama supporters split it.

ROVE: Yes.

HANNITY: Let me put out another part of the Rasmussen poll if I can. And this is -- was Paul Ryan the right choice? Forty three percent say, right choice, 22 percent say, bad choice. Let me also play a SOT of Paul Ryan. His background is fascinating to me. Here's what he talked about as it relates to those who are trying to demonize him, he talks about his grandmother on Medicare and then he talked about his life experience, working at McDonald's. Roll this tape.


RYAN: He's speaking to people as if we are stuck in our station of life. Victims of circumstances beyond our control and that only the government is here to help us cope with it.


You know, I don't know about you but when I was growing up, you know, when I was flipping burgers at McDonald's, when I was standing in front of that big Hobart machine, washing dishes or waiting tables, I never thought of myself as stuck in some station in life. I thought of myself on the American dream, on the path of journey, so that I can find happiness however I define it for myself.



HANNITY: You notice, no teleprompter, extemporaneous, compelling life stories.

ROVE: Yes. Look, this is one of the great things about this guy. I know him well. We spent some fun time driving around his district together. First of all, his brothers give him no respect whatsoever which is a great sign of, you know, here's a member of the Congress -- big whoopty-whoop. And his brothers just threat him like brothers treat brothers, which is really fun to watch. But look, this is -- he's so passionate about the right to rise. This is what we need in the country. The belief not that we're, you know, you didn't create that, the government did it, but you have a right to rise. And we need to change government and remove the obstacles, to you being everything you can be in life.

Look, I didn't come from much of anything. I didn't go to college except I've got a $1,500-a-year scholarship. Life's been good to me. You know, that's the kind of America we want for our kids and our grandkids and Paul Ryan embodies this in his life and speaks passionately about it because he has lived the American experiment.

HANNITY: All right. Karl Rove, fascinating 84 days ahead. Thank you sir for being with us.

ROVE: You bet. Thanks for having me.

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