This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," March 23, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: So in the wake of the health care bill's passage, Senator John McCain announced that he is done working with the Democrats, saying, quote, "There will be no cooperation for the rest of the year. They have poisoned the well in what they've done and how they've done it."
Well, not only that, but on the Senate floor yesterday he vowed to do everything in his power to repeal the bill.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, R-ARIZ.: We'll challenge this in the courts. We will challenge this in the towns. We will challenge this in the cities. We will challenge this in the farms. We will challenge this all over America and the will of the people will be heard.
And the will of the people, if they do not like this process, they do not like this product, and we will prevail over time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: And joining me right now is Arizona Senator John McCain.
Senator, good to see you while I'm in D.C..
MCCAIN: Good to see you.
HANNITY: How are you?
MCCAIN: Nice to have you in the city of Satan.
HANNITY: I was calling it the city of bribery, but I guess it fits. That's a very powerful statement. There'll be no cooperation from you for the rest of the year?
MCCAIN: Look, let me jus clarify that. If it's in the national interest and there's something that requires us to work together — a national emergency, something that we think will help the country — sure.
But what I meant was, for us to sit down together and say gee, how can we get something accomplished? We'll just wait until after the election. If it's in the national interest we will work with anybody.
But the fact is no longer should we — because this process, they have basically shut us out of what is the institution of the Senate in that it should be 60 votes majority.
HANNITY: It doesn't seem to be working, though, with the American people. I cited these polls with Newt Gingrich. Harry Reid has an eight percent favorable reading, Nancy Pelosi 11. Congress, 64 percent disapprove of Congress. So clearly people in this country have picked up the process is corrupt and tainted.
MCCAIN: Yes, it's — yes, absolutely. I mean how else could you leave out tort reform and how could you include these special sweetheart deals that basically buy votes?
But, you know, Sean, one thing as you mentioned being here in Washington. On Saturday, I was in Arizona. I had two town hall meetings, one up in Prescott, one in the east valley of Phoenix. And the anger and the outrage, people driving by saying, don't let us take our health care.
And then back here to our nation's capital, there's celebration. They're having champagne toasts.
MCCAIN: And the disconnect between the American citizen and Washington, D.C. and the Democrats and this president is the most stark contrast I have seen in the years I've been able to serve.
HANNITY: There's a great piece on "National Review Online" that Obamacare is not inevitable. I've been quoting the last couple of days Senator Conrad. He says it's not a slam-dunk that the changes, the fixes, the reconciliation, can make it through the U.S. Senate where you are.
Can you explain to people that are starting to get confused, now the president signed it into law, the fixes go back to the Senate. Do you think it could be stopped?
MCCAIN: I don't believe so because the way that the fix is in, instead of having a House bill go back to the Senate where they know they would not get passage because of Scott Brown's election and 41 votes, they are doing this, quote, "reconciliation," which was never intended to affect 1/6 of our Gross National Product. So they only need 51 votes to prevail, rather than the 60 vote tradition of the Senate.
HANNITY: So you're really —
MCCAIN: And I'm telling you, it is just — it is an outrage what —
HANNITY: You were saying then to the American people the only way to stop this — if I'm interpreting what you're saying correctly — is to defeat the Democrats in November and then the president, make him a one-term president. That's the only way you see out of this?
MCCAIN: I think we can go to court. I think there are real constitutional challenges. I think we can put pressure on. We can make it clear that people who voted in favor of this legislation, that their time is limited.
But yes, then the people will decide next November. And we Republicans have to continue to point out that it's not a choice between Obamacare and nothing. We had many proposals to really bring down cost. To really fix a broken system that costs are out of control.
But not take over, have the government take over the health care system.
HANNITY: I want —
MCCAIN: You know there's going to be thousands of new IRS employees?
HANNITY: Sixteen thousand.
MCCAIN: Sixteen thousand.
HANNITY: We're actually creating a few jobs there, Senator. For the first time.
MCCAIN: Sixteen thousand new IRS agents are going to be out and about, checking on small businesses.
HANNITY: I watched closely the exchange that you had at that summit with the president. And you raised the issue of process. You raised the buy-offs, the — I call them bribes, you know. If you're going to use taxpayer money to buy a particular senator's vote, the Cornhusker Kickback, Louisiana Purchase, exemptions for states like Florida and some other places. You try to raise this. He seemed to dismiss you, the election is over, John, I think is what he said.
MCCAIN: The campaign is over. And of course I had to and it was appropriate to laugh but it's also a point that needs to be made that the campaign may be over but the commitments that we make during a campaign are not over. Particularly, when you say eight times, that there's going to be C-SPAN cameras in the room so that people will know who's —
HANNITY: They broke another promise today. He told the American people during the campaign they would have five days online to read the bill and he signed this thing in, what, 36 hours after the vote on Sunday.
Earmarks, lobbyists, unemployment won't go above eight percent. A lot of broken promises here.
Do you think he's gotten a pass from the media? Do you think he's gotten — you didn't think the media coverage was fair in the campaign, I know that for sure.
MCCAIN: I've never complained and never will. But I really am interested in the celebration almost by some of the liberal media at the outcome of the vote. It was fascinating. But again, I want to point out, one, sweetheart deals buying the votes, you know, 60th vote, the ones you mentioned.
But there was also the deals for pharma, for American Medical Association, for the hospital association, for all — so there was really two sets of bribes going on at the same time.
HANNITY: At the same time.
MCCAIN: I mean, I've never seen anything like it.
HANNITY: And we're bankrupting the country in the process. And we're going to destroy the best health care system in the process.
Look, this is not overheated rhetoric. This is reality and unfortunately we won't see this for years to come, which is my greatest fear. People become dependent. They'll have their power. And by the time they realize what has happened, I think in many ways we risk it could be too late if it's not overturned immediately. So...
MCCAIN: Let me just point out one other thing real quick. Congressional Budget Office. We all can trust the Congressional Budget Office. But it's garbage in and garbage out. If you give the Congressional Budget Office certain assumptions, they will reach certain conclusions.
The doc fix, the doctors reimbursement payment we all know is due to be cut 21 percent. Which means if we did that doctors would stop seeing Medicare patients. OK? Everybody knows that's going to be fixed. OK? But they counted it in, in whether we would have a deficit or not...
HANNITY: I love how you pay taxes for 10 years and gets six years of, quote, "benefits."
Senator, good to see you. Thanks for stopping by. We appreciate it while we're in — what do you call it, again?
MCCAIN: Trying to do the Lord's work in the city of Satan.
HANNITY: City of Satan, OK. Senator, appreciate it.
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