Sean Hannity's message to the GOP

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," November 8, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Now the presidential election was not the only race lost by Republicans on Tuesday. There were also a number of disappointing outcomes in Senate contests as well. In particular, opportunities were missed by conservatives in both Missouri and Indiana, two states that Mitt Romney easily carried.

Now, it was a series of inexcusable missteps, especially Missouri, made by the Republican candidate in the race that allowed a Democrat to win. For example, you know, he was going up against -- Todd Akin was going up against Claire McCaskill, a weak candidate.

And then of course, those infamous comments that he made about, quote/unquote, "legitimate rape" that kicked open the door for this incumbent to pull out a victory. Although both candidates ultimately apologized for their comments, it was simply too late. The damage had already been done.

Sure, everyone makes mistakes, but in the days leading up to the most important Election Day in the history, thesis missteps, in my view are simply inexcusable.

So tonight, I have a message for the GOP and it's pretty simple. That is, it's time to start nominating disciplined, principled, conservatives; men and women will who will defeat their opponents, not themselves.

Because at the end of the day, if you cannot answer a simple question on issues like abortion, what in the world are you doing running for office?

Now come 2014, the Republicans will need to usher out their A-team -- and that is people who ready for prime time. If they don't, you can say goodbye to the House and the Senate will remain under the control of Harry Reid.

It's time to look in the mirror.

Joining me in studio with reaction, the co-hosts of "The Five," Eric Bolling and Kimberly Guilfoyle. You guys recovered? All set, ready to go?

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE, CO-HOST, "THE FIVE": Yes! Nice to see you, Sean.

HANNITY: At the time Akin made the comment, legitimate rape and the woman's body as a means of preventing pregnancy, it's a rape, I don't know. I invited him on my radio program for two days in a row. We went on for a long time. Here's part of that exchange.


HANNITY: I think there is one political reality that has to be faced by you and your campaign and that is that, you know, the reality here is Democrats now have a ton of ammunition and they are going to try and use these remarks to hurt everybody they can.

If I was put in that position, I would be at least thinking about what is in the best interest of the party, what is in the best interest of, you know, Mitt Romney, in this case? What is in the best interest of the people of Missouri? Are they going to hear a campaign about issues or is this going to be a distraction in the campaign? You are not even considering that?

REP. TODD AKIN, R-MO. (via telephone): No, no. Those are all legitimate points, Sean. I am trained as an engineer. You look at both sides of the equation and you say, what are the pros and the cons.


HANNITY: I don't want to go after him personally. If you can't answer that question, you don't belong in that race!

GUILFOYLE: Well, what about the party loyalty and doing what is in the best interest of the party. If you are not able to be up to the task and answer a simple question like that, without ruining your own personal reputation and jeopardizing the interest of the party -- which are significant in the case of a seat like that -- shouldn't you have stepped aside to begin with?

HANNITY: That was what I was suggesting to him.

GUILFOYLE: Correct. But he made it about himself and what he thought was good for him and his own reputation and career and didn't care about what the impact would be. And the outcome to me is really no surprise.

HANNITY: What about the vetting of these candidates? Sitting them down and asking them simple questions?

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST, "THE FIVE": Here's part of the problem. The two that you picked -- it is unfortunate. They were going to be locked seats had they just figured out that they needed to go through the other things. These are fiscal conservatives.

That's why they were put where they were in the first place. They should have been vetted and instructed -- the party -- the establishment wing of the party for some reason thinks the Tea Party's a threat to them and they are not --

HANNITY: I want conservatives. I'm a registered conservative.

BOLLING: You're talking about Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, right, two Tea Party guys, two guys who lost because they put their foot in their mouths at inopportune times.

There are five people, five Republicans who lost who are moderates, who aren't Tea Party, Scott Brown, a moderate, Tommy Thompson, a moderate, Rick Berg, Linda McMahon and Connie Mack in Florida.

There are five more opportunities to pick up seats, so what the party really needs is, pick a direction. You want to be moderate and play around with this? You are not going the Senate. You're not going to win the House.

You want to go fiscally conservative, go further right, go Tea Party, and you might win the Senate back.

GUILFOYLE: You have to have someone that can answer basic questions without appalling answers.

HANNITY: But there is a big gender gap here, Kimberly. That is that women in larger numbers voted for Obama. Men in larger numbers voted for Romney.

GUILFOYLE: So did minorities, so did a lot of Latinos and African- Americans and that's a larger issue of bringing in them --

HANNITY: To Eric's point, 3 million fewer Republicans voted this year than in 2008.

BOLLING: Real quick, the numbers, right now, as of this -- literally a couple of hours ago, 2,894,000 people is what Obama beat Romney by, almost 3 million fewer voted. That means Mitt Romney would have probably come close to winning the popular vote, Sean. But I got to tell you something --

GUILFOYLE: But he didn't get that turnout.

BOLLING: That Electoral College, that's becoming an issue. There are a lot of constitutionalists who are going to yell at me for saying this.

HANNITY: No, no, no. You don't go with the popular vote. You don't. Bad idea.

GUILFOYLE: Here we're getting controversial...

BOLLING: Romney lost the Electoral College by 24 percent and he lost the popular vote by 2.4 percent.

HANNITY: If those 3 million people came out, who knows?

BOLLING: Look, if you take -- the 2.4 percent was the difference between Obama and Romney. If you move that, if you go to every single state, back to even, 24 percent, you still lose.

HANNITY: Here's what you are assuming though, California -- a lot of people say, my vote doesn't count. They are going to come out in droves in New York, California, Illinois --

BOLLING: How many Republicans didn't vote in New York and California because they knew it was going to be a blue state anyway.

GUILFOYLE: Sean, the problem is you have to work on getting out the vote. Everybody knew from the beginning that the Barack Obama's team was excellent at doing that. They proved to do so as well on Election Day.

HANNITY: I tip my hat. I thought they ran a dirty campaign, but they had a great ground game. And we should learn from it.

GUILFOYLE: That's how you win.

HANNITY: That's how you win, learn.


HANNITY: All right, guys, good to see you both.

GUILFOYLE: Good to see you.

HANNITY: Congratulations.

BOLLING: The Republicans split the House. The Tea Party flipped the House on fiscal conservativism, not social issues, fiscal conservative.

HANNITY: Stick with that. I am with you.

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