The Cost of Hope and Change: Can Obama Buy Another Term?

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," April 4, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: "The Anointed One" officially launched his 2012 re-election bid today. Now, many predict it will be the first billion dollar campaign in presidential race history. And he kicked us all off with this online video.


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: There are so many things that are still on the table that need to be addressed. And we want them to be addressed by President Obama.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I had the assumption that politics was all show, it's all sound bites. But politics is how we govern ourselves. That's what politics is. It's not the grass roots level. It is individuals talking to other individuals and making a difference.

GRAPHIC: It begins with us.


HANNITY: All right. Now, isn't it odd that the president's supporters did not cite anything he has actually accomplished? I do however agree with the nice lady who said that there are a lot of things on the table that still need to be addressed. You know, like the federal deficit which is skyrocketed to a projected $1.65 trillion this year alone. Hey, maybe the president can contribute the billion dollars that he raises on the campaign trail, and we can start paying that debt down. After all, we know that none of his policies are going to accomplish this.

And joining me now with analysis is the author of the New York Times bestseller "Revolt," the one and only former Clinton Adviser Dick Morris. Dick, welcome back.


HANNITY: Look, you follow history. Can you name a single time, single incident, either somebody running for the Senate, governor or the presidency where somebody could buy an election? Don't you have to be elected on your record, re-elected on your records, your success?

MORRIS: I would say relax about that, Sean. Money is very important when you are running de novo for president, when you are a new candidate and you're trying to get the nomination and you're trying to win the election.

But for a president running for re-election, money is almost irrelevant. It makes you feel good to spend it. He's probably trying to intimidate people out of running against him in the primary. But the media coverage is so intense and the free media coverage on this station and every other is so major, that ads really don't have very much to do with that. I don't think it matters whether Obama raises $100 million or $2 billion, I don't think it's going to increase or decrease his chances any one way or the other.

HANNITY: Well, let me see if I can ask you another way. But look, doesn't he need to do a good job? If he did a good job, like for example, watching this video, nobody is citing any great success he's had.

MORRIS: Right.

HANNITY: You know, Reagan had an incredible record after four years. Look, even your buddy Bill Clinton. The era of big government was over, things changed, Republicans helped him, but things were better. You know, pick any president, if they are doing well, the economy is doing well, National Security, they feel secured, they'll elect him.

MORRIS: Yes. I think that he's in very bad shape. I think he is going to be in worse shape, I think we are going to beat him in 2012. But we need to beat him this week in Congress by not caving in on the continuing resolution that is on fire right now.

HANNITY: Yes. Well, if you look at the numbers for example, I'll get into this in more details in just a moment here. But on the economy, Dick, your polls is your business -- 78 percent of independents, feel he give him a disapproval rate on the economy. Now, if you look for example, National Security, 71 percent disapprove of his handling of those issues.

MORRIS: Sure. And when you get a president who has a job approval in the 40s, but approval on the issues in the low 30s and the high 20s, the issues of the lead indicator and his overall popularity in both chairs is going to fall dramatically.

But can we talk about the budget? Because to me that is the crucial thing here. To pretend that the Republicans in the House are saying that they are going to give in over -- insisting on $61 billion of cuts, which is 100 prorated. And that in a budget of $700 billion of nondefense discretionary, $3.7 trillion total, you can't come up with $61 billion of cuts, is outrageous. It's almost obscene.

And Boehner is pushing a false choice. He's playing Harry Reid's game, of either you make these cuts -- I'm sorry, either you compromise on these cuts or you shut the whole government down, that's ridiculous. You don't have to do that. Do a targeted government shutdown. Go for the agencies you want to zero fund and zero fund them. Zero fund PBS.

HANNITY: I agree with you.

MORRIS: -- zero fund arts and humanities, zero fund foreign aid, zero fund new road construction. And then, if the Senate doesn't pass that, who cares it is zero funded anyway. And then if the Senate says, I'm going to zero fund everything else in protest against what you've done, hey, be my guest, shut the government down to keep $740 million a year flowing to Kenya. Shut it all down for foreign aid.


HANNITY: I read your column. And we discuss this a little bit last week. I think you are dead right. There's a simple way to do this. Reassure Americans, the government that their Social Security checks, the Medicare, and Medicaid is handled, that are defense is taken care of. I think there's a way to do it.

A lot of people, including myself, got nervous when John Boehner said, John Boehner said last week, we control one half of one-third of the government, we are going to fight for the largest spending cuts we can.

Now, there was a report last week and we heard it all weekend, that the number is going to be $33 billion. Again, about half of what they promise.

MORRIS: Yes. This is kind of split the difference politics is just wrong.


HANNITY: Hang on. Now, we said today that is not the number, he hasn't agreed to it. And I think this false choice maybe dawning on him, that if they do this, they're going to lose the support of the people that recently hired them.

MORRIS: Yes. I beg all of your listeners -- on my website at, I have this column outlining it. I beg you, pick up the phone, and call your Republican congressman and tell him, you're going to vote against him in a primary unless he goes ahead and votes for the$ 61 billion of cuts and accepts no compromise.


MORRIS: 202-224-3121, that's the phone number.

HANNITY: All right. Let me ask you this, you know, if you look at Obama, it was all about hope and change, people fainting. You know, he was the messiah. The earth was literally going to be healed. The tides would be literally rise or stop rising in reaction to him.

MORRIS: Stop rising, global warming.

HANNITY: Yes, exactly. But what do you make of Eric Holder announcing that the Department of Justice is giving up the idea of trying Khalid Sheikh Mohammed? And, you know, one of his biggest promises.

MORRIS: I think he's buying himself a heck of a primary fight from Kucinich. I think he figures as long as he moves to the right, Hillary can't run against him, because she is to the right. But he's opening himself up to a big left wing primary. But by the way, Sean, before we go, I just would hate myself if I didn't say this on your show. Tomorrow, in Wisconsin, there is an election for Judge Presser, who is the swing vote on the state Supreme Court on the Walker education reforms, the union reforms. It is vital that this guy get re-elected. If you are watching this program and in Wisconsin, do everything you can to get your friends and your neighbors out. We will never improve education in America, unless we can limit the power of these unions. And if Walker's reforms are thrown out by the Supreme Court, we never will.

HANNITY: All right. Dick Morris, it was good to see you, I appreciate it.

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