Will She or Won't She? Palin's Political Future Becomes Hot Topic in Press

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," May 26, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: So, is Sarah Palin running for 2012? Is she planning this run? That's a question on everybody's mind this week. And the mainstream media is exhausting itself with speculation. Even the liberal New York Times made it front page news further feeding the curiosity flame.

Palin announced today that she's launching the one nation tour this weekend, that's a bus trip through our nation's historical site from D.C. all throughout New England, and that includes New Hampshire.

Meanwhile, a brand new Gallup poll has Palin along with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney leading the current GOP 2012 pack. Now, other front runners include Texas Congressman Ron Paul, Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

Joining me now with reaction, New York Daily News columnist, Fox News contributor Andrea Tantaros. And Fox News legal analyst and host, and FoxNewslive.com, Kimberly Guilfoyle. Guys, good to see you.


HANNITY: All right. This bus, let's go back to the bus here. Because two things now.

ANDREA TANTAROS, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Don't say back to the bus, remember only the president can say that. Remember Republicans -- you need to get to the back -- remember? We need to get to the back of the bus, Sean, go ahead, OK.

HANNITY: I'm a little slow, it is Thursday. All right. So, Governor Palin said to Greta, which is interesting, I have a fire in the belly.


HANNITY: Now, we got a bus.

TANTAROS: Now, we got to bus.

HANNITY: Wait a minute.

TANTAROS: That's a campaign.

HANNITY: Well, this is more than, but go ahead. So, it seems to me, if you were to ask me a week ago I would have thought she might, now I do.

TANTAROS: She said fire in the belly, and first I thought she meant maybe some kind of indigestion over the way the press was treating her family which is justifiable. But I tell you, I agree with you. If she doesn't run Sean, this is the biggest head fake in presidential politics I've ever seen. Because we don't know, everybody is wondering if she will jump in. And I'll tell you, the liberal media, they are just gnashing their teeth. They cannot wait to sink their teeth in her, they're hoping she gets in.

HANNITY: Gettysburg, Liberty Hall, Federal Hall, you know, "restoring the good in America." "Our nation is at a critical turning point." This is all on Drudge early this afternoon. "As we look to the future, we are propelled by America's past." "We celebrate the good things that bring Americans together." Sounds a lot like a campaign.

GUILFOYLE: Look, I think she wants to run. OK. And her time is now. If she sits this one out, what kind of, you know, ground movement is she going to have next time around. If she sits out 2012, yes, I think she's got the momentum. She certainly has the fun raising ability. But -- she did buy a home right, in Arizona. So, some people are speculating whether or not she would go back into government and go as a U.S. senator and try that around.

But nevertheless, I think she would be a compelling candidate. But can she win the general election? Because, well, there's a lot of love her or hate her. People have very strong feelings about Sarah Palin. The people that support her --

HANNITY: A lot of people have strong feelings about "The Anointed One", about the president.

GUILFOYLE: Well, that's his problem too. He can't get over 50 percent. You have to take a look at that in terms of getting the nomination. But of course, she's a favorite of the Tea Party and social conservatives.

HANNITY: What's the biggest difficulty? What would be her biggest challenge? Your best advice if she gets in this campaign?

TANTAROS: I think it is just depth of knowledge. I mean, I think it's just -- she is very politically shrewd. Even her enemies say that she has got incredible instincts. But, because of flubs and gaffes that happened during the 2008 campaign, where I believe she was grossly mishandled, by her staff. I think that they doubt that she has the breadth and depth of experience for the office. I do wonder though, if I'm Michele Bachmann, she hasn't announced yet, what is Michele Bachmann thinking? Palin jump -- both of them have not jumped in. If Palin jumps in, that really hurts Michele Bachmann.

HANNITY: Michele Bachmann told me that she was speeding up her announcement. Maybe in the next week or so.


TANTAROS: Well, if you saw a bus with Sarah Palin's face on it --

HANNITY: Well, she said this before this bus came out.

TANTAROS: All right, so.

GUILFOYLE: Look, Bachmann wants to run, Palin wants to run. But they want to run and win. And in what combination, president or VP, that's also an interesting play depending on who runs -- they need a social conservative, somebody like Romney is going to need one in as well to help his campaign.

HANNITY: Especially if Iowa, I think a social conservative would do well.

GUILFOYLE: Absolutely, if Bachmann does very well there.

HANNITY: All right. Let me ask both of you. Let me just go back to the issue of free speech. Ed Schultz, comments about Laura Ingraham, followed by a suspension, followed by an apology. My attitude is I believe in free speech. Did they handle this correctly?

GUILFOYLE: I think they handled it correctly. And really, his conduct was inexcusable. I think his apology was somewhat sincere. But nevertheless, where do you go off like saying something like that about her? It's totally inappropriate.

HANNITY: What if I called any Democratic woman a slut?

TANTAROS: Oh, forget about it. Look, Laura Ingraham is a conservative white female, blonde. They hate conservatives. Sean, it is the last acceptable form of misogyny in this country. Hatred, prejudice towards conservative females. Look what happened to Don Imus? He was fired.

HANNITY: Bachmann and Palin continued.

TANTAROS: Yes, Sean, you would be fired too. I'm all for free speech. It is what I do. It lets me sit here but it means responsible speech.

GUILFOYLE: You should also be appropriate.

HANNITY: -- part of my vernacular -- you know, go through the alphabet, you know, you can, certain letters, certain words, you never say about a woman, to a woman, ever, ever, ever.

GUILFOYLE: It's an issue of character. OK. So, when you are looking at someone like Ed Schultz, there's a very big difference. So, this guy, I'm sure this is not the last that we hear from him in terms of his gaffes.

TANTAROS: You know, what, they embarrassed themselves when they do this.


TANTAROS: The best traits I think that conservative women have, among all the others, but particularly a Sarah Palin and Laura Ingraham.

HANNITY: Smarter?

TANTAROS: No. They expose -- that's true -- but they expose, Sean, the worst side of liberals. They make them go crazy. And they expose what ugly, unfair and just hypocritical.

GUILFOYLE: When you demonize women like this.

TANTAROS: Can I point out this morning on MSNBC, the special, how to empower women or some special about knowing your value. How ironic that Mika Brzezinski hosts a special this morning about knowing your value, huh?

HANNITY: All right.

TANTAROS: Hypocritical.

HANNITY: Guys good to see you both. I appreciate it.

TANTAROS: Yes. Good to see you, Sean.

Content and Programming Copyright 2011 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2011 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.