'Hannity': Carly Fiorina Sets Record Straight on Open Mic Incident

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," June 11, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: All right, it is not a new phenomenon in politics but when it happens it captures everyone's attention: Politicians caught on tape when they least expect it. And it happened again this week but this time well, the comments were made about little old me.

Just hours after winning the Republican Senate primary in California video was leaked of former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina talking about gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman's decision to appear right here on this program "Hannity."

Take a look:


CARLY FIORINA (R), CALIFORNIA SENATE NOMINEE: I find it really surprising that on the first day of the general Meg Whitman is going on Sean Hannity. Did you hear that? I think it's bizarre. I mean she's never been on Sean Hannity.

I think it's a very bad choice, actually. You know how he is.

Yes, anyway, that's — they said — they said — oh, she is going to be on Hannity tonight. I was like wow, what a strange choice. I mean it's one — you know. I just —


FIORINA: I know. It's —


FIORINA: I think — but why after saying no to all these people would you go on Sean Hannity? Maybe. But Sean Hannity is not an easy interview, you know?


HANNITY: All right, tonight Carly Fiorina, the Republican senatorial candidate, is here to set record about her comments. She joins me live tonight from California.

Welcome back. It's good to have you — I think.

FIORINA: Thanks, Sean. Thanks for having me.

HANNITY: All right. Surprising, bizarre, bad choice, you know how he is. All right. How am I? How —

FIORINA: Well, you're tough.


HANNITY: Explain how am I. Am I — what he, how he is?

FIORINA: Well, you're a tough interview, Sean. That's your job. And you know I was feeling protective of my friend Meg. By the way she doesn't need my protection, she's perfectly able to take care of herself.

But you can be a tough interview. And that's your job. It's more to your credit that you're a tough interview and here I am. And that's why I called on Wednesday to say I was sorry because — and I'll say that to your audience. This was not an insult to you at all. In fact it was a compliment.

HANNITY: OK. You know, bizarre, you know how he — and a lot of people said a lot of things about me over the years. You were very nice to call and apologize.

I got to tell you, there is a part of me that is a little sympathetic to the idea that any time you're in front of a microphone, you are probably being recorded. And I have said things in front of microphones that I probably don't want out on — in the public in the many years that I have.

So I do have — let me ask you this question because I think it's important: A lot of people that saw this, that contacted me, said uh-oh, here's another — here's another Republican running in a primary as a conservative, racing back to the middle and doesn't want to be associated with known conservatives. Because I'm a registered conservative more than a Republican.

How do you respond to them?

FIORINA: Well, Sean, as you know I agreed to go on your show the day I won the primary. I'm happy to come on your show. I was eager to come on your show during the primary, I'm eager to be here tonight. It's why we confirmed with you on Wednesday morning. And I look forward to talking with you many times during this general.

And one of the things that I've said to the people of California, because I'm not a politician, is I am who I am. I believe what I believe.

And it's important, I think, that voters know that for me it's not about changing what I think or changing what I say. It's about sticking to the issues and saying, you know what, the issues in California are joblessness, the issues for our nation are a stagnant economy, a vast unaccountable bureaucracy in Washington, debt that's out of control and a senator named Barbara Boxer who's failed us.

Those are the issues. And I hope we can talk about that many more times.

HANNITY: You know I look at Barbara Boxer, in all honesty, I mean as one of the most radical politicians in Washington now. Look, in my view if she has her way, the deficit will be more massive, government will be bigger, taxes will be higher, our national defense will be weaker.

She has gone along with the Reid, Pelosi, Obama agenda. Her poll numbers are low California. How do you take on an incumbent, though, that has been there that many years and defeat her? What is your strategy?

FIORINA: Well, by pointing out, Sean, exactly what you just said.

This is a woman who has voted for over $1 trillion in tax increases in her 28 years. This is a woman who has never met a spending program she didn't like unless it was supporting our military. She voted against body armor to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. She voted against extended family leave for our troops.

This is a woman who takes the tragedy in Louisiana on the Gulf Coast and instead of talking to the innovators, as you are, she says, no, no, no, let's push through massive cap-and-trade.

And this is a woman who even today was in Riverside, California where the unemployment rate is 15 percent, claiming that the stimulus bill was creating jobs, when in fact the employment rating in California has gotten worse since the stimulus, not better.

This is a woman who is totally out of touch. And meanwhile, she has stood silently by while Israel is threatened and condemned and Iran builds a nuclear weapon.

HANNITY: Well, I got to tell you something, I'm really concerned more than at any point in my life that if we don't have real conservatives in Washington — people that really mean it about cutting taxes, pulling back the size and scope and influence of government, understanding the nature of evil in our world that we live in today — that I'm really worried about the future. We're robbing from our kids and our grandkids.

Last — last question to you, because I'm worried about California, New York, states like this, they are talking about shutting down New York government sometime next week because it similarly is broke: Do you see a way out of the mess in terms of the two — two of the biggest states in the country, New York and California and what is it?

FIORINA: Yes, I'm as concerned as you are and that's why I've stepped forward to run for this office. The voters of California are as concerned and that's way we can win.

Here's the way out: Let's rely on the innovative, entrepreneurial capacity of the people of California and the people of this nation, many of whom you just highlighted.

Let's get out of the way of small business owners and family-owned businesses and let's cut federal spending and refuse to pass a single new tax increase, because we must cut taxes, we must cut regulation.

We have to get out of people's way —


FIORINA: — who actually create jobs. And we have to do the heavy lifting of cutting spending and throttling back this out-of-control government.

HANNITY: All right, Carly, first of all, all is forgiven, it's all over. By the way —

FIORINA: Thank you, Sean.

HANNITY: I do take from your comments that kind of — you must like my hair?

FIORINA: Well, you know your hair I think is pretty awesome. When I was almost bald I really liked your hair.

HANNITY: Oh well, you're looking great. I'm glad you're back. And thank you for being with us and thanks for coming on the program tonight and you're welcome any time as is Meg Whitman.

And still to come tonight — and, by the way, the hair is real. Some of you are write in and say Hannity is that hair real? It is real, pull it. I'm telling you I don't make this up.

— Watch "Hannity" weeknights at 9 p.m. ET!

Content and Programming Copyright 2010 Fox News Network, Inc. Copyright 2010 Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.