What Makes Pelosi Think Democrats Will Give Her Another Shot?

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," November 11, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Now this past year Republicans pledged to the American people that they would return to their conservative roots and get the country back on track. But as the GOP gets ready to deliver on their campaign promises, it seems that some on the left just still don't get it.

Now despite a stinging defeat last week, Nancy Pelosi has announced that she will run for House minority leader, but some rank-and-file Democrats are hoping that Pelosi might reconsider.

Democratic Pennsylvania Congressman Jason Altmire said there is, quote, "starting to be a sense that this may not be as much a done deal as people might have thought. If enough people come out and voice a little discomfort with the idea of her continuing on, maybe she would reconsider."

Now Speaker Nancy Pelosi got them into this mess. What makes her think Democrats want to give her another shot?

Joining me now from the great state of Pennsylvania is Governor Ed Rendell.

Governor, welcome back. Good to see you.

GOVERNOR ED RENDELL, D-PA.: Hi, Sean. Always nice to be here.

HANNITY: All right. Look. She's got a six percent approval rating, Governor. Six percent. Don't you think -- when Newt Gingrich stepped aside they only lost five seats. With a six percent approval rating, about 65 seat loss when all is said and done, don't you think she ought to step aside?

RENDELL: Well, I think it's more about governing because come 2012, the election is not going to be about who the Democratic leader in the House is. It's going to be about President Obama and his opponent.

So I think the question is, who can govern and who can deliver the type of compromises that the president is going to have to make to move the country forward with the Republican majority in the House and the Republicans in the Senate?

And I think Nancy can be very effective at doing that. When she goes to the liberal base and says we have to do this to move this country forward --

HANNITY: All right. Maybe you're right.

RENDELL: And I think --

HANNITY: Let me concede the point. Maybe with her liberal base, maybe with the liberal daily kooks out there, and the extremists on the blogs, maybe you're right. But here's the problem.


HANNITY: There was an 18-point advantage in the 2006 midterms for the Democrats. Now there is a 19-point Republican advantage. What about all those people in the middle that supported Obama in 2008 and the Democrats in 2006 that said we want you out of here? How is she going to appeal to them?

RENDELL: Well, I think what those people are saying even more than personally they want this person out or that, is they want us to move forward as a country. They want us to cut spending. Absolutely. That's a clear message. But they also want us to tackle some of the difficult issues we're facing.

And I think Nancy is a very good tactician in the House floor. And she can help bring about the compromise that I think the president needs to strike.

HANNITY: Let me ran an ad for you.

RENDELL: So I don't think it's -- sure.

HANNITY: San Francisco liberal, Nancy Pelosi since she became speaker, America accumulated $5 trillion in additional debt. Impactful?

RENDELL: You want me to run the response ad?


RENDELL: $3 trillion of that debt -- $3 trillion of that debt came because of policies enacted in the Bush administration.

HANNITY: No, no --

RENDELL: So we got to get the record straight.

HANNITY: No president can spend a dime without the approval of Congress. All right. Let me give you a couple of symbolic things that I think show me as a conservative that the Republicans are serious.

Number one, John Boehner. It's not a lot of money, but he said you can keep your government plane, I'm going to fly commercial. The House Republicans, as a caucus, they said they're not going to put earmarks in their bills.

Jim DeMint is trying to get the Senate to do the same. I don't think that's going to balance budget. We know it's not. You've got to deal with entitlements. But certainly they are sending a signal to the American people that things are going to be different. Now politically you've got to admit that's a pretty smart move, right?

RENDELL: Oh, yes. I think it's excellent for spin. But as you said, totally eliminating earmarks saves $8 million.

HANNITY: We'll take it.

RENDELL: We've got a $5 trillion deficit.

HANNITY: I'll take it.

RENDELL: I know. But it's a little bit shtick. You know, if you know what I mean. It's an ice symbol, and I agree with you. And I think earmarks should be eliminated.

You know, one of the things I've advocated, Sean, is a national infrastructure bank to spend a lot of that transportation money rather than earmarks, whoever is the most popular and powerful congressman. So I think earmarks should go and I'd like to see the Democrats vote for them to go.

HANNITY: I've got to tell, I think America is headed for, you know, a principled showdown, classic conservativism, of which I'm a part of, and classic liberalism, bigger government, take over of industry.

You know Hillary Clinton said something that I thought was pretty interesting. She thinks the president will in fact follow the model of Bill Clinton, and move to the center, but she said it in an interesting way. She said the trick will be to make it look like he's moving to the middle while sticking to his agenda.

First of all, Bill Clinton didn't do that after the shellacking he took in '94. You know the era of big government was over, the end of welfare as we know it. But to look like he's moving to the middle and stick to his agenda, if he does that, they'll be even a bigger massacre in two years.

And that will tell us he didn't get the message of the American people.

RENDELL: Yes. I think the message the American people have sent is they want us to move together and meet the challenges that we're facing. And the president is the leader. And if he can get that done, if he can make progress on energy, if he can make progress most importantly on the economic front, job creation. If he can make progress in reducing spending, I think if he can reach out and bring the Congress together, then I think he'll get reelected.

HANNITY: The problem is --

RENDELL: If he can't do that, I don't think he's going to win.

HANNITY: He can't do that and be a big spending liberal -- he can't advance his liberal socialist redistribution of wealth agenda and accomplish that. I mean he was dragged --

RENDELL: Well, Sean, to be fair --

HANNITY: -- kicking and screaming -- by the tax payers in this election to advance in the Bush tax cuts. But I got to tell you something. That's only a first step. He is a big spending liberal.

RENDELL: Sean, to be fair. The budget that was presented last year cut the deficit. It didn't increase the deficit. And the budget that they've proposed this year would cut the deficits --

HANNITY: Governor -- wait a minute. $1.5 trillion and $1.6 trillion. That's just two years in office. He accumulated more debt than any president since Washington to Reagan.

RENDELL: But again -- but, Sean, Sean, Sean. Sean, most of that debt was the bailout that was started under George Bush and --

HANNITY: And he quadrupled it.

RENDELL: And -- but a lot of that debt was like the auto bailout. The auto bailout has been a big success. It saved and created jobs and that money has been paid back.

HANNITY: Oh, boy. Oh, boy.

RENDELL: Look, Sean, those are the facts.

HANNITY: You're going to take Robert Gibbs' job.

RENDELL: Those are the facts.

HANNITY: You're going to take Gibbs -- you're going to be the new press secretary.


HANNITY: Governor, we always enjoy having you. And one of the few Democrats --

RENDELL: Thanks, Sean.

HANNITY: I got give you credit that are willing to come on and have -- mix it up a little bit. Good to see you.

RENDELL: Well, you always give us a chance to speak.

HANNITY: All right. Good to see you, Governor. Thank you.

RENDELL: Thanks, Sean.

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