This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," February 12, 2007, that has been edited for clarity.
SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: It was a busy weekend for Illinois Senator Barack Obama. On Saturday, he announced his candidacy for the president — for the presidency in Springfield, Illinois. But this wasn't just a campaign announcement. It was filled with a bunch of left-wing policy proposals that may frighten moderate Democrats.
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SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Let's be the generation that says right here, right now, we will have universal health care in America by the end of the next president's first term. We can do that.
But all of this cannot come to pass until we bring an end to this war in Iraq. Most of you know — most of you know that I opposed this war from the start. I thought it was a tragic mistake. Today, we grieve for the families who have lost loved ones, the hearts that have been broken, and the young lives that could have been. America, it is time to start bringing our troops home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: The senator then followed that up with a Kerry-esque comment about our troops, suggesting the lives of American soldiers lost in Iraq, he said were wasted.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: We ended up launching a war that should have never been authorized and should have never been waged and to which we now have spent $400 billion and have seen over 3,000 lives of the bravest young Americans wasted.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: So is this the best candidate for the Democrats? Joining us now the founder and president of the Coalition on Urban Renewal and Education, Star Parker, and from National Public Radio, FOX News contributor Juan Williams.
Juan Williams, 3,000 Americans wasted? Their lives wasted?
JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it's kind of mainstream public opinion at this point, Sean, that it was a mistake to go into Iraq. So if you use that as your premise, then why were they there and isn't it a shame? I mean, why their blood and souls have gone away.
HANNITY: Putting aside you're trying to defend the comment here, which I'm a little bit surprised at here. But you think that's going to play well in this country, saying those brave men that did what they were asked to do, that their lives were wasted in this effort? Do you really believe that's going to fly well?
WILLIAMS: Oh, now, remember, the audience he's talking to is the left wing of the Democratic Party, the people who are most activated, most involved at this point so early in the process but also the leading edge of what's going to be the vote for the Democratic primary.
HANNITY: Well, thanks to "Hannity & Colmes", Star Parker, on talk radio tomorrow on my show and I'm sure others, this comment is going be to discussed at length, to say that about the American troops.
Now maybe he'll get away with it. John Kerry got away with, you know, accusing our troops of terrorizing women and children in the dark of night. That we're an international pariah, so, you know, maybe he'll get away with it.
STAR PARKER, PRESIDENT, COALITION ON URBAN RENEWAL AND EDUCATION: Well, he might get away it with it, Sean, especially after all the fascination and the pictures of him on the beach out in Hawaii. But I believe most reasonable people agree that we should have gone into Iraq.
The questions on the table today, of course, are more complicated. But when we got hit September 11, how soon we forget what happened. There were 3,000 lives that we should be concerned about.
The men of war, those that have been trained, that have committed themselves to protect us, are doing a service being in Iraq.
HANNITY: Australian prime minister, John Howard, slammed Barack Obama this weekend. This is what he said. He said, "If I were running Al Qaeda in Iraq," he said, "I'd put a circle around March 2008 and be praying as many times as possible for a victory, not only for Obama but also for the Democrats," he went on to say.
And I thought about that and I said, you know what? That makes sense. And it seems to me the question Democrats cannot answer is we will have a humanitarian disaster just like happened after we left Vietnam. We will see Iraq, Iran, Al Qaeda. You know, they will take over in that area. And they will have the financial resources from oil reserves to fight whatever fight they want, and it most likely will be against us. Isn't that what they're not factoring in?
PARKER: Absolutely. They hate us, and they are not going to stop. In fact, they've escalated their terrorism because of comments like Barack Obama's.
And I totally agree with the prime minister, that the more we keep saying, "Let's just pick up and leave," the more terrorist activity we're going to see.
ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Star...
PARKER: What's interesting — wait, let me make one more point. What's interesting is notice how Barack Obama put it off until March 2008. When the president has put two people in charge that are saying that by the end of the summer we could be in a very different place. We need to stabilize Baghdad. We should give the mission an opportunity to be successful.
COLMES: Let me be very clear here. Here is what Barack Obama said after the comment we played, because he made a statement about the statement we played about the issue of lives being wasted. Let's put up on the screen.
He said, "I was actually upset with myself when I said that, because I never use that term. Their sacrifices are never wasted. What I meant to say was those sacrifices have not been honored by the same attention to strategy, diplomacy and honesty on the part of civilian leadership that would give them a clear mission."
Juan Williams, you have to look at this in context. He misspoke; he said he misspoke. He said he was sorry he used the word "wasted." I don't know what more needs to be said about it.
WILLIAMS: Well, that's what I was saying earlier, you know, to Sean. When you look at the idea — and by the way, two thirds of the American people think we shouldn't be there. That's pretty mainstream common sense. And with regard to going into Iraq, it was — we went into Afghanistan in response to 9/11. We made a mistake by going into Iraq thinking there were weapons of mass destruction.
So the idea of sacrifice, the idea that they were following the orders of civilian leadership — without a doubt they were loyal, patriotic Americans doing their duty. But the question of whether or not this was misconstrued and misunderstood, distorted policy, there's no question about it. And that's why he said what he said.
COLMES: He said he's upset he used the word.
But now, Star, if the election were held today and the issue was solely the war in you can Iraq, do you believe that most Americans would vote for a pro-war candidate?
PARKER: I think that they would. I think that most Americans want this settled. And to say we're just going to pick up and leave, they know — there's a tension in our society. We all know it. That's why the border...
COLMES: How you can say that based on the November elections?
PARKER: Based on the — the November elections, I don't believe it was specifically about Iraq. I think that it was not a vote for Democrats. It was a vote against Republicans. That's a whole another show.
COLMES: And their policies.
PARKER: But this is not their only policy. So I think that we misread. I believe Americans want to be safe. And it's not an accident that we not been hit since then. And it's not an accident that Iraq has been like turning on a light when you're trying to catch a moth.
COLMES: We were not hit by Iraq in the first place.
PARKER: All of the terrorists are going there in Iraq, which is a good thing, instead of coming here.
COLMES: All right, Star, Juan, we thank you both.
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