This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," January 18, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Massachusetts has not sent a Republican to the Senate since 1979 so many are still asking whether a Republican can actually win a Senate seat in the historically blue, blue, blue state.

William Weld, a Republican, was elected governor of Massachusetts and he joins us now to discuss whether or not Scott Brown can beat the odds.

How are you? Good to see you, Governor.


HANNITY: How are you? Doing all right? Well, can he beat the odds?

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WELD: Well, I think he can. The one thing that might work against him is Democrats coming home trend in Massachusetts of all states. But there was a poll today in the cities of Gardner, Fitchburg and Peabody which are all Reagan-Democrat, blue collar cities, and Brown was ahead, 17, 14 and 15 points. So that would suggest he's in a good position.

HANNITY: That's a good — all right, so you won as governor, what, two terms as governor, right?

WELD: Two terms. Yes.

HANNITY: But you lost in the Senate race, because I remember you debated John Kerry. So you've been on both sides of this. Are there any conditions that are more favorable for Republicans than others to run? Any years or does it get difficult at times? What happens?

WELD: Well, this obviously is a good year. I mean 2010 feels like 1990 to me on the ground up there. That's the year I was elected.

But I don't think this is all national. I think Brown has run a really good, really smart campaign. And you know his opponent was asked after a recent debate how come you had no public appearances in the state this day? And she said what do you want me to do? Go out to Fenway Park and stand shaking hands in the cold?



WELD: You can't say that. I mean her answer implied that she didn't think that would be a good use of her time but the fact is, in Massachusetts politics, that's somewhere between a good and an excellent use of your time.

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HANNITY: Well, and that was when at Fenway Park, the Bruins were playing the Flyers and sports are huge in Boston, in Mass.

WELD: Sports are huge.

HANNITY: OK. So she also insulted Schilling who's going to be joining us later in the program. She insulted Catholics and said well — suggested maybe they shouldn't work in emergency rooms.

How many more people in Boston does she going to insult?

WELD: I don't know about insults. I think there is one.

HANNITY: You don't think it's an insult?

WELD: There's one overarching thing here, and that's I think that the people in Massachusetts like people elsewhere have kind of spending fatigue. And I don't think it's any one thing. I don't think it's just the health care bill.

I think it's, you know, first TARP, then bailouts, then the stimulus package, then more bailouts, then taxes to pay for it all. And you know, we had a pretty good run in the '90s with low taxes and low spending.

HANNITY: How big a referendum is this election on Obama?

WELD: I think it — I agree with Tip O'Neil, I think all politics is local. And you do have those national issues which are spending and taxation issues. But I think people have kind of a primeval sense the pocketbook is out of control a little bit so they're projecting their own family finances, and thinking maybe we're getting the situation where survival is at stake.

HANNITY: Are we reading this right after New Jersey? A pretty blue state goes Republican. Huge win in Virginia by Bob McDonnell. Now Massachusetts is in play. Are we reading this that Obama's first year has caused this? That people are reacting with a lot of passion and emotion to the policies that he's implementing, the debt he's accumulated, his national security views? I mean.

WELD: I think it's mainly spending. And I'm not — look, last — in 2008, I endorsed Obama so I'm not an Obama basher by any stretch of the imagination.

HANNITY: Yes, I know. And I won't forgive you for that.

WELD: Right, I know that. And I'm not saying, you know, they didn't have to do a lot of what they had to do. But the accumulation, I think, has people nervous, even scared.

HANNITY: What do you think when Martha Coakley said devout Catholics probably shouldn't work in the emergency room?

WELD: Well, I don't know. I thought when I was in office that — this is inside baseball — but Catholic charities was like the best social welfare organization I had in the state. They were doing a lot of the government's work, frankly, so I cut them a lot of breaks.

People wanted the home for unwed mothers to have baskets of condoms and the church didn't want to do that. I said OK, we're not going to make the church do that. The same idea is this bill they're talking about now.

HANNITY: All right. So your prediction?

WELD: I think Brown by four.

HANNITY: Brown by four. I think that's a pretty safe prediction. Good to see you. Thanks, Governor.

WELD: OK. Thanks.

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