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Fox News "Hannity" - Transcript

Interview

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SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Now lately it seems like the Democratic Party's talking points, they're stuck on repeat. They all keep singing the same old tired tune, blame the Tea Party for America's downgrade, blame the Tea Party for America's fiscal failures. Don't blame us, nope, blame the Tea Party.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

SEN. JOHN KERRY, R-MASS.: I believe this is without question, the Tea Party downgrade. This is the Tea Party downgrade, because a minority of people in the House of Representatives countered even the will of many Republicans in the United States Senate.

DAVID AXELROD, OBAMA CAMPAIGN ADVISER: The fact of the matter is, that this is essentially a Tea Party downgrade. The Tea Party brought us to the brink of a default.

AXELROD: It is something that should never have happened. And that clearly is on the backs of those who were willing to see the country default, those very strident voices in the Tea Party.

HOWARD DEAN, D-FORMER VERMONT GOVERNOR: I happen to agree with David. I think this is a Tea Party problem. I think they are totally unreasonable, and doctrinaire and not if founded in reality. I think they've been smoking some of that tea, and not just drinking it.

(END VIDEO CLIPs)

HANNITY: Unreal, of course, the leaders on the left would never dream of taking any responsibility for their role and running the economy into the ground. But these days, even their excuses, they are getting a bit stale.

Joining me now with reaction, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.

The president blames everybody, everything. If the Tea Party budget was adopted, Senator, correct me where I'm wrong, their watered down version, "Cut, Cap and Balance," they would have preferred even deeper cuts, that would have met the standard that Moody's and S&P said was necessary to avoid this moment from happening. The Tea Party, if their plan were adopted, we would be fine today.

SEN. RAND PAUL, R-KY: It would be funny if it weren't so tragic. But blaming the Tea Party is sort of like blaming the fireman when he comes to put out the fire. You know, a lot of us were elected to go to Washington to put out the fire, to handle the debt, to do something about the debt. That's why we went to Washington. That's why we ran for office. Now they are going to blame the debt on us, when we came to Washington to try to fix the mess that they've got us in. It is really ludicrous on the face of it. But I think it is an example of really the failure of leadership that he will not accept responsibility. I think we are getting to the point where he's going to have a failed presidency.

HANNITY: I hate to tell you this, Senator. The presidency has already failed. His economic promises are broke as Karl Rove was saying he's run out of ideas at this point. Here's what frustrating though, I mean, he got the budgets he wanted. He had both houses of Congress. He got the stimulus he wanted, he got the health care, this is his economy, his record debt, four times the worst year than President Bush had. And now he's blaming the Arab spring, and the Japanese earthquake, and oil companies, and Wall Street and when all else fails, blame Bush.

PAUL: The other thing about it, you know, the Tea Party is a minority of the minority party. We are not in leadership. We don't control either House. We don't control the vote. The problem that we're having passing something in the House is they didn't have Democrats voting for it. It was the president's own party that gave him trouble. In the Senate when the president's budget was produced, every Democrat in the Senate voted against it. I mean, this is a guy, really the economy is in death throes right now and he can't accept any blame or responsibility for it. I'm going to introduce legislation tomorrow that will call for the resignation of Timothy Geithner. It will be a no vote of no confidence. And I think really, his only chance to turn his presidency around is to get somebody to replace Timothy Geithner who's failed at every turn.

HANNITY: Can you add Bernanke to the list? Can you -- I wish they had a no confidence system, prime minister but we don't. Here's the problem. Now, I'm looking at what is going on in London right now. And the rioting that's taking place here. The rioting is taking place in large part because austerity measures -- because their country is going bankrupt, we should be learning from their mistakes, but we are not. And people are out there, they're blaming conservatives, they're blaming the government. They are blaming, quote, "rich people" that it is their fault. They got 16,000 police officers in London to try and handle this more than they've ever had. And I'm thinking this sounds a lot like, you know America 10, 12, 15, 20 years down the road. Because once those promises can never be fulfilled, is this coming to America?

PAUL: Well, what I would say is, the way we avoid chaos, the way we avoid rioting in the streets is to start gradually fixing the problems. Entitlements are broken. And any honest Republican, Democrat or independent will tell you they're broken because there's less young people and we are living longer. You can fix those problems by gradually raising the age and changing the way we do the entitlements. But if you wait, if you wait five years or 10 years, then there is going to be an abrupt end, and that is what is happening in Europe when you have these austere measures where people don't get their checks, that's when there is rioting in the streets. But the way you avoid that is by fixing the entitlement programs now and doing it gradually.

HANNITY: Half the country doesn't pay taxes, 15 percent of the country now is on food stamps, Senator. And you know, the chairman of S&P actually said, they've upgraded, after a downgrade, five countries. The average length of time that takes is between nine and 18 years. We are not going to be upgraded any time soon. In spite of Congressional Senate investigation, that is not going to happen. So --

PAUL: Well, let me interject. The thing I would say is that, you know, the stock market has basically given a vote of no confidence to this president. We are not England, so we can't remove him that way, same with Timothy Geithner. But it is a vote of no confidence that the stock market is down nearly 2,000 points. And it really says that everything they are doing is not working. Everything has gotten worse. Unemployment has gotten worse. Gas prices have doubled. The economy is growing if at all at a very anemic pace. We are not going to get out of this until we get a business-friendly administration.

HANNITY: Last question, is there any movement towards the Mack-Penny plan, which we have discussed at length, freeze spending at this year's level, cut one percent a year, do it for six years.

Is this maybe the moment where that can take hold in the country and people say, all right, we can live within our means like the average American family?

PAUL: Absolutely. Everywhere I go I'm talking about the Penny plan. I've been traveling around Kentucky yesterday and today. And everywhere I bring it up, people are coming up to me and saying they love the simplicity of it. But they love how it points out that Washington spending is growing. And everyone else is only talking about reducing the rate of growth. Whereas, the Penny plan would cut spending in real terms by one percent a year. And it would actually work and balance the budget over an eight year period.

HANNITY: If we can get enough people onboard, we could save the country from what is happening in London, Greece and Europe. That could happen.

Senator, any way I can help, let me know. That's an important bill. I think it would help the country.

PAUL: Thank you, Sean.


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