Hannity & Colmes Interview Transcript
Hannity & Colmes, FOX News
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Lowry: Several veterans of the Iraq war are running for congress in next year's election but not all of them feel the same way about the conflict in which they served their country. Joining us now is Pennsylvania Democratic congressional candidate Patrick Murphy who served in Iraq as a Captain with the 82nd Airborne. Also joining us is Texas Republican candidate Van Taylor who served in Iraq as a Captain in the 2nd Force Reconnaissance Company of the United States Marine Corp. Thank you, to both of you gentlemen for joining us, it's an honor and thank you both for your service to our country. Patrick let me start first with you, you were in Bosnia and in Iraq you earned a Bronze Star, can you tell us a little bit about your service to our country, and also the extraordinary tradition that your family has of service to the country?
Murphy: Sure, Rich, and thank you for having me on the show, I appreciate it. I come from a great family that believes in public service, my father served in the Navy during the Vietnam era, and served 22 years in the Philadelphia police force my Uncle Bill served in the 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam, as did his brother, who served in the 11th Airborne Division. So, I was happy to go on to eventually teach at West Point and the next generation of leaders at West Point, and eventually the 82nd Airborne Division where I was honored to serve in a 2nd Brigade Combat Team in Baghdad, Iraq in 2003
Lowry: That's marvelous. Now, Van let me ask you, you graduated from Harvard, which we won't hold against you, then, you volunteered for the Marines and you won the Navy Commendation Medal with a "V" for Valor, can you tell us, what was the most important lesson you took away from your service in Iraq?
Van Taylor: Well, after 10 years in the Marine Corps I certainly learned a tremendous amount about leadership and I applied that successfully in business, and I am now applying that same leadership in building together a broad-based, grassroots campaign here in the 17th Congressional District in Central Texas.
Lowry: Patrick, I know you've had some criticisms of the way President Bush has handled the war, but I also noticed a week or two ago you were in the Washington Post criticizing Howard Dean for saying there is no way we can possibly win this war, so give us a brief take on your position on the Iraq war at the moment?
Murphy: It's pretty clear Rich that I support the troops, and I support the fact that Jack Murtha, Patriots like himself, who was a Marine Colonel stood up against this administration and said listen we need to change a direction, now when I was a cadet learning how to be an officer to be a leader, I read Colonel Powell's book and the Powell doctrine said you have a clear mission you use overwhelming force and you have an exit strategy and then you come home, the fact is our troops accomplished a mission, the job is done now rich, we got the job done when we got ride of Saddam Hussein and his regime and we ensured there were no weapons mass destruction as we know that was an easy job, but the fact is we did the job and now its mission creep, now what's the objective? There is no mission now, so we should start to coming home.
Colmes: Patrick and Van, it's Alan. Thank you both for being on the show and I also want to congratulate you both and thank you each for serving our country and I thank Patrick for running for office. But Van let me ask you I think its actually terrific that both of you, having served in Iraq have decided to run and Van I'm just curious, you praise President Bush we saw what happened when he went to Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum found himself at the other end of the state, would you want President Bush by your side, given his under 50% approval ratings, to campaign with you as you run for office?
Van Taylor: Well, to be quite frank with you, this district where I'm sitting right now is only a few miles from the President's ranch and I'm excited for prospect of getting I'm counting on two votes coming from Crawford Texas, so, yes, he is absolutely a political asset here in the 17th Congressional District
Colmes: You praise him for the hard choice not to retreat and to secure America against terrorism by going into Iraq, its never been shown yet how going into Iraq had anything to secure America because Iraq was proven not to be a direct threat to America.
Van Taylor: Well, let me tell you what I'm finding as I go around the 17th Congressional District, people understand what is at stake in Iraq is no less than the security and preservation of American democracy, what we cannot allow to happen in Iraq is to allow Al Qaeda to take over the country of Iraq - or even just to carve out a safe haven - upon which they can use to make attacks, to destabilize Iraq other countries around the Middle East or perhaps even launch attacks here on American soil.
Colmes: That was never our original mission; you want to respond Patrick, to that?
Murphy: Absolutely, President Bush said in a campaign speech in 2000 that he does not believe in nation building, and the fact is he broke that promise, just like his father broke the promise that he was not going to raise taxes and he did. The fact is the mission is complete now, and now we're still there with no real mission. We're getting letters, I'm getting support, Van Taylor and I are witnesses to what's going on over there I don't need to find out what is going on here back at home, we've seen it with our own eyes, Our own combat boots the fact is we got the job done
Lowry: We have to leave it there hope we can have you both on after the election next year and I hope one of you is in congress when we have you back.