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FOX News "Hannity and Colmes" Interview - Transcript


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FOX News "Hannity and Colmes" Interview

MR. HANNITY: And John McCain went into Super Tuesday the Republican front-runner, but many conservatives remain uneasy about his track record. With us now is Oklahoma Senator -- John McCain supporter -- Dr. Tom Coburn.

Senator, how are you? Welcome back to the program. Glad you're with us.

SEN. COBURN: Thank you. I'm fine. Good to be with you.

MR. HANNITY: Let me just run down the list -- and I know we've got this whole issue of the letter that Bob Dole sent to my friend and colleague, Rush Limbaugh, who I spoke to last night, who respects Bob Dole. The Bush tax cuts, the class warfare rhetoric, McCain-Feingold, McCain-Kennedy, McCain-Lieberman, Guantanamo, ANWR, interrogations, not abolishing the death tax, quote "I think Hillary Clinton would make a great president" he once said on "Meet The Press." Those are significant, substantive issues at odds with the conservative base, Senator. How does he bridge the gap, or does he even need to?

SEN. COBURN: Well, I think he needs to. But you know, I could do that with anybody. You could do that to me in terms -- and I'm rated the number-one conservative in the U.S. Senate. So you can --

MR. HANNITY: I don't -- I follow your record. I don't think -- I don't think that's comparable.

SEN. COBURN: Well, I think you could if you took things out of context. Here's the thing, is --

MR. HANNITY: What is out of context?

SEN. COBURN: -- what are the number -- the two greatest things that are facing our country today? One is we're under siege by radical Islamic fascism that doesn't care what we believe unless we believe what they believe. They want us to die. The second thing is our future is at risk over the impending economic collapse of this country based on the demographics of an aging population and commitments that we can't keep that we're going to undermine our children with.

Who do we want -- who has the characteristics, who has the stamina, and most important, Sean, who has demonstrated the courage to take on the issues that are most important for our country?

MR. COLMES: Senator, hold on a second, I got to get --

MR. HANNITY: I want to sneak -- let me sneak in one quick question. Senator, you can't say that I took out of context one thing there. That's his record.

SEN. COBURN: Well, if you had asked me could Senator -- or Hillary Clinton be a good president, I could say yes to that.

MR. COLMES: You know what, Senator --

SEN. COBURN: I mean, the point is is you can do that to anybody. The point is, is what are we -- what are we voting for? Is there anybody that matches up perfectly with the hard right of our party, and I'm considered part of it --

MR. COLMES: Senator, it's Alan Colmes. I don't -- as a liberal Democrat, I'm, of course, enjoying watching some of this on your side. (Laughs.) But I don't get the animosity, the intense hatred, that some conservatives have for John McCain. And you know, I don't know what's going to happen when he gets the nomination, which seems likely. Are they just going to half-heartedly support him and hope a Democrat wins so they can say "I told you so"?

SEN. COBURN: No, I don't think that's going to happen at all because when you really look at the whole John McCain record, what you're going to see is a broad conservative. Think about it. Who voted against the largest expansion in Medicare in our history, $9 trillion, that the Republicans -- the rest of the Republican Party were embracing and John McCain voted against rightly? He should not have voted for Medicare Part D because we didn't have the way to fund it, and we're going to charge that to our grandchildren. Where was the rest of the party when we did that? So on the true conservative principles of having a smaller government, a more efficient -- who went after Abramoff? Who did that? Did the press or did John McCain? So the point being --

MR. COLMES: You don't have to convince me, but I'm not voting for Republicans. (Laughs.) But I thank you, Senator --

SEN. COBURN: Well, the point is, is if you're a conservative and you really know John's record and you know and you've been in the trenches with him, who do you want to support?

MR. COLMES: We thank you very much for coming out with us on this special early edition of "Hannity and Colmes."

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