RNC chair previews convention: 'Firing Barack Obama, saving America and hiring Mitt Romney'

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," August 23, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: We are not even at the conventions yet and the bad news is mounting for the president with polls showing that the race for the White House is in fact tightening. According to the brand new Fox News poll the Romney-Ryan ticket is leading Obama-Biden among likely voters 45-44. Now, there comes as no surprise to the President as he continues to orchestrate the sleaziest, slimiest, dirtiest campaign in modern history.

Here with reaction to that, and a preview of the Republican National Convention, coming to us from Tampa, will be there all next week, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. How are you, sir?

REINCE PRIEBUS, RNC CHAIRMAN: I'm doing great, Sean. Happy to be down here, thank you.

HANNITY: Worried about the weather a little bit?

PRIEBUS: No, we feel really good about where we're at. We just met with the National Weather Service, we don't see any scenario that we are not the starting this convention on Monday, getting our business done and starting this thing off. So, it's a good launch, firing Barack Obama, saving America and hiring Mitt Romney, that is what we are going to do.

HANNITY: All right. I refer to the president affectionately as "President Cry" baby because he blames everybody else including ATM and kiosks and tsunamis, you know, for the failure of his programs which he implemented. He is now claiming Republicans, that you guys are playing a little dirty. He said that last night. I wonder if you have reaction to that.

PRIEBUS: Well, you know, listen, I mean, the fact of the matter is, at the end of the day, we are going to prosecute Barack Obama, prosecute him on regard to what he promised and what he delivered, Sean. You know, you're right, he is in love with the reflection in the mirror. He loves giving speeches. The problem is he doesn't know -- he is not in love with following through with his promises. And so, four years ago he promised to carpet the world and he delivered us a plate of dog food. And the people in this country know that at the end of the day, what really matters is, is that we elect people of their word and we want those people to govern like they campaigned.


PRIEBUS: He didn't do it. And so, that's, you know, it is his, you know, the fault -- the fish rots at the head, and so he is the president. We are not better off than we were three or four years ago and we have to do something about it.

HANNITY: All right. Look, he didn't cut the deficit in half.


HANNITY: He lost hundreds of thousands of jobs. Fewer people working since he has become president. We have $5 trillion in debt. I don't think it's -- it is and 15 more million Americans on food stamps.

All right. So, he is running this campaign of sleaze, slime and then inverts everything and says, the Republicans are doing it to him, he becomes the victim. You know, I know that the media in this country, and we'll delve into this deeper in the program, they want to talk about skinny dipping Republicans, they want to talk about abortion, they want to talk about, you know, phony war on women. And meanwhile, Mitt Romney today comes out with a real energy plan that will lower the price of a gallon of gasoline, lessen our dependence on foreign oil and create jobs. So, how do you keep from the distractions, from the substance that Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan are trying to bring to the campaign?

PRIEBUS: Well, two things. Number one, this is always going to be about what President Obama promised and what he delivered. You know, I would say, you know, coming out of Wisconsin, you have seen that people in this country that know how to deliver on a promise are rewarded. That is something the president just can't do. He is not capable apparently of putting his speeches into action where he actually can get something done even with the Democratic Senate and a Democratic House that he couldn't get his policies through.

I mean, the fact of the matter is, is that all of this noise, and you have pointed out a few things, nothing can -- nothing allows the president to escape the truth of where we are at in this economy and that is our trump card. I mean, the fact is the economy is not where it should be. He didn't fix it.

And I would add on top of your list the fact that the president stole $700 billion out of Medicare to pay for European health care, and this is not -- the key for us is that we have to be smart enough to understand that it is not to fall into their trap. You know, they claim the $700 billion, well, that is really just money they he took out of savings.


PRIEBUS: It is $415 billion that should have went to providers. It's a 115 billion that should have for Medicare advantage for medication for seniors. He stole that money.

HANNITY: Well, the money is gone.

PRIEBUS: And we have to be bold enough to say it.

HANNITY: And he borrowed, and he lied to the American people and now is running the sleaziest campaign. And speaking of which, we've got, you know, the sleazy, you know, Stephanie felony Soptic Cutter is out there. He actually is making a claim that the quote, "Obama recovery" that has fewer Americans working than when he took office and gave us five trillion in debt, actually created more jobs than Ronald Reagan. Let me roll the tape.



WILLIE GEIST, MSNBC ANCHOR: What would you say to that same person who said, well, that hasn't worked for four years? I haven't had the job overtime, it is time for a change.

STEPHANIE CUTTER, OBAMA CAMPAIGN ADVISER: Well, I think that worker probably has a good understanding of what's happened over the past four years in terms of the president coming in and seeing 800,000 jobs lost on the day that the president was being sworn in, and seeing the president moving pretty quickly to stem the losses, to turn the economy around. And over the past, you know, 27 months we've created 4.5 million private sector jobs. That's more jobs than in the Bush recovery, in the Reagan recovery. There's obviously more we need to do, and as I said to Mika at the at beginning of the program, I think that unemployed worker probably sees one person in this race trying to move the country forward, and that's the president.


HANNITY: He has a 60 percent disapproval rating on the debt, on the economy, on deficit, job creation. Sixty percent disapproval rating.

PRIEBUS: Someone has to teach them some math. I mean, you have to take away the losses from the gains. You know, she is turning into our own Baghdad Bob. Do you remember him in --


PRIEBUS: You know, declaring victory as, you know, the entire Iraq was going down.

You know, the fact is people aren't better off. We know that. They can't spin those numbers. And he hasn't followed through on his promises to create jobs and we are going to do something about it and the way we are going to do it is elect Mitt Romney.

HANNITY: Any words for Joe Biden who is going to visit all of us down there in Tampa next week?

PRIEBUS: Well, listen. To Joe Biden and his crew, we're going to have -- we will lay out the welcome mat for you because we're going to give you all the passes you need. Joe Biden is our best surrogate for the Republican Party around this country. So, the more he talks, the better off we are. So, welcome Joe Biden to Tampa.

HANNITY: Remember his cadence, "unchained," as he puts all the emphasis on it.


HANNITY: All right. We got to run. Thanks, Reince. We'll see you next week.

PRIEBUS: All right, Sean.

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