Christie Warns Republicans Not to Underestimate Obama's Campaign

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," November 15, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Now the man that some people wanted to see challenge President Barack Obama in 2012 now has a warning for Republicans who may be getting a little too overconfident about defeating "The Anointed one," and that's New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. He cautioned members of his own party during a Facebook forum event yesterday. Let's take a look.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, R-N.J.: I think anybody who underestimates the president over the next year, underestimates him at their own peril. These guys have shown that they don't know a hell of a lot about governing, but they know how to campaign. They know how to campaign.

I have watched the president now since he's gotten into more campaign-styled things, he gets more energized, he gets more animated, he's off the prompter, he's seemingly speaking from his gut. That's the person that people elected in 2008. That's the guy. The guy who has been around for the last three years in the Oval Office nobody can really recognize who he is. And so I think that people who believe, because the president poll's numbers are bad, the country is in trouble, that he is a shoe-in loser, are wrong.

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    HANNITY: And joining me now with reaction to the governor's message is the author of The New York Times, best-seller "Demonic," and that's Chris Christie's biggest fan, Ann Coulter. And she was willing to steal his inhaler or as Barack Obama would say his breathalyzer to force him to run.

    ANN COULTER, AUTHOR, "DEMONIC": And, of course, he is right again. He is absolutely right on this point. Beautifully put and it's a very important time to say it. I mean, I think the big division among Republicans right now are those who think, oh, absolutely, this is going to be 1980, we are running against Jimmy Carter. Obama has wrecked the economy like Jimmy Carter had. We just need to get the most right-wing candidate in there. And then there are those of us like me and apparently Governor Christie who think, this guy is going to be tough to beat. The most important thing is defeating Obama because we're never going to get rid of Obamacare if we don't get rid of Obama.

    HANNITY: However the Supreme Court may get rid of it for you.

    COULTER: A, I wouldn't count on that. And, B, a lot of elements of Obamacare will stick around. I mean, we need to put in competition among insurance companies in order to stop this beast from raising its head over and over again. And the way Christie put it just there is absolutely right. Obama and his team, very good campaigners, they are also dirty campaigners. Something Governor Christie had the dignity not to mention.

    But I mean, look at what they've done to Herman Cain this week. It is straight out of the Obama playbook with David Axelrod managing to produce, you know, sealed divorce records first against Obama's primary opponent when he was running for the Senate, and then against his general election opponent, Jack Ryan. That's how Obama became senator allowing him to run for president.

    Now, you have all these sexual harassment allegations against Herman Cain mysteriously coming out of Chicago, a place Herman Cain never lived, which is what I wrote about last week. They are dirty, dirty, campaigners. They have the mainstream media in their pocket. The mainstream media is not as powerful as it used to be. But it is not powerless. And the idea that we will just pick the most right-wing candidate without any concern about who is going to win is suicidal for the Republican Party and for the country.

    HANNITY: I'm going to delve into that in a second. I agree, I think it's a good admonition by Governor Christie. The difference though this time is that his words are falling flat. And people, he now has a record. I mean, I think people are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, and forget about the media being in his pocket. That's going to continue. But he does have a record, and it's abysmal and I think he's got to run on his record no matter how much money he spends demonizing his opponents. Who are you specifically talking about, he can't pick the most right-wing candidate. I mean, I'm trying to figure --you're speaking in code.

    COULTER: I think the candidate, it is going to be and is the strongest candidate to beat Obama is Mitt Romney. And, you know, I'm a little tired of these Johnny-come-lately conservative purists. Where were they when we were running John McCain? For Pete's sake, Romney is a million times better than McCain. Romney speaks absolutely beautifully, he's been magnificent in the debates. I think he's a little bit of a country club Republican, too, but let's just get a Tepublican in there and get Obama out and as long as we have a Republican Senate -- by the way, Tea Partiers, that's what we need to be working on, Republicans picking up the Senate.

    HANNITY: I think Romney has done a great job. He is a thousand times better. And I didn't think he run a bad campaign in 2008. He's sharper. He's been great in every debate. I think he's done a good job.

    COULTER: Yes. He has fantastic advisers, including Judge Bork and Mary Ann Glendon, advising him on court appointments.

    HANNITY: But here's a problem he's facing. And this is important. He has had a hard time up until now. Now, it's fascinating in the polls, he's the one guy that has remained a frontrunner, has not lost that status from the very beginning. It seems like he is having -- it doesn't seem like, he's having problems with some of the conservative base in the polls there.

    COULTER: Right. That's what I'm saying. What the reason for that is, and I understand this, I agree, this seems, feels like 1980. If we had a Ronald Reagan out there, we could probably win with the Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan is not available this year. We have to -- and Romney is well-known to --well the electorate generally and conservatives -- we know what his negatives are but we have to keep cycling through these other conservatives to find out what their negatives are. And boy, the Obama White House is loving this, keep Republicans fighting.


    HANNITY: Well, they went through the same thing. This is the primary process.

    COULTER: Yes.

    HANNITY: And you know, what? Iowa is January 3rd. So the ball gets rolling in less than two months. So, you know what, we're going to find some answers to what is going to happen.

    COULTER: Well, he is probably not going to win Iowa. He is not even campaigning in Iowa. And we have to look to New Hampshire, I think.

    HANNITY: What do you make of Newt Gingrich's rise in the polls? I mean, he had a good five year run as speaker, we did get to a balance budget. He did take deficits and help turn them into surpluses. He did end welfare as we know it. There are issues, I asked him on this program last night about global warming --

    COULTER: I saw it.

    HANNITY: -- personal issues. He gave his answer. What do you think about him?

    COULTER: You know I'm not a fan, and I think conservatives who are worried about Mitt Romney's flip-flopping and ought to look into the record of Newt Gingrich. I have a link to one article on my web site, I'm writing about this. It will be on the at 6 p.m. tomorrow.

    HANNITY: How about Herman Cain? Do you think Herman Cain can recover or do you think that, for example, he's been attacked on his answer on Libya, just like Perry was attacked. He didn't remember the third department he would want to eliminate.

    COULTER: I mean, as I think you know, I never thought Herman Cain would be our nominee. I predict our ticket is going to be Romney-Rubio. I would like it to be Romney-Cain. I love Herman Cain. He's very charismatic. He would be fantastic in any administration.

    The Democrats are terrified of him and yet he has never held elective office before. You know, sorry he's been running all the business, he's a CEO. But this is why you need someone not only with political experience, but someone who has held elective office, someone who has run in a large enough state or diverse enough state that he has had to appeal to get votes from independents, from Democrats and from women.

    That's why congressmen tend not to do very well. That's why governors from small states like Delaware, one of my historical favorites, Pete DuPont, tend not to do very well. You need someone who has run, for example, from the entire state of Massachusetts, the entire state of New Jersey, the entire state of California. That shows you some electability, from practice at politicking that they can speak well.

    HANNITY: Let me say this in closing. We are running out of time.

    COULTER: Romney is the first Republican who can talk since Ronald Reagan, so that's good.

    HANNITY: That's a big plus. I can tell you right now any of the frontrunners or even people in the back of the pack will be infinitely better than Obama. And in the end this is what is going to happen. The people, Tea Party members, conservatives, moderate Republicans are going to have their chance to voice their opinion, and whoever they pick they better get behind and support.

    And I can accept anybody in the field. I have a big problem with Ron Paul's foreign policy. That would be problematic for me, but you know what? I would vote for him over Obama.

    COULTER: What I think Republicans should be and conservatives, people who care about this country should be looking at, is not just can you check off this issue, this issue, this issue, but who can you send in, in the debates against Obama? I think hands down that is Mitt Romney.

    HANNITY: OK, Ann Coulter, it's always good to see you.

    COULTER: Good to see you, Sean.

    HANNITY: You did not get to call me names like last time, a gossipy old woman and brat because I didn't ask you about your dating life.

    COULTER: And I miss doing that.

    HANNITY: You know, listen, you might sue me for harassment by the time this is over.

    COULTER: That's right.

    HANNITY: All right, Coulter, thanks for being with us.

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