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Fox News Channel "Hannity" - Transcript


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Fox News Channel "Hannity" - Transcript

Fox News Channel "Hannity" Interview With South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford

Interviewer: Sean Hannity

Subject: Federal Stimulus Results

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MR. HANNITY: The Obama administration is finally acknowledging that it may have overestimated just how effective that their stimulus plan would be and how many jobs it would create. Now, our next guest has been an outspoken critic of the plan from the very beginning and was the only governor to take his opposition all the way to court. Joining me now is South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford.

Governor, welcome back. Tell us about the court decision. I guess the federal government can dictate to the states everything they do -- unfunded mandates, they can make you change your laws. I thought we had a Constitution that protected against that.

GOV. SANFORD: Well, not as much as we'd like. And in this case, it was more than just the federal government. It was our state Supreme Court that ultimately decided what we had to do here at the state level. In essence, what we have right now is an export of Washington's financial recklessness to states across this country. And I think we will see it ultimately met with not jobs but, frankly, disastrous consequences in terms of this country's finances and, frankly, in terms of state's finances across the country.

MR. HANNITY: Governor, I tried on this program to listen to anybody that would listen that this stimulus plan was not stimulative, that it was all back-ended, that this was about acquiring power for the government. You were one of the few people in the forefront of this debate as well. They promised us, for example, unemployment wouldn't go above 8 percent. And they said it would as high as 9 percent if we didn't pass the stimulus bill. Now it's 9.4 percent. But Obama's ratings remain high. Why?

GOV. SANFORD: Well, I think that that, too, will pass because there's already beginning to be a disconnect from a polling standpoint between basically folk's personal affinity toward Obama and their personal affinity toward his policies. And that's obviously tied to stimulus, it's tied to the health care reform, it's tied to cap and trade, it's tied to a bunch of different things.

But I think the tip of the iceberg, the thing that's causing the most friction out there is the American public's restlessness -- I know that that's the case certainly here in South Carolina -- with the absolute financial recklessness that they see again being exported out of Washington, D.C. to states across this country. This notion that, you know, basically you've got to take the stimulus money or else is, I think, very, very dangerous. We will end up in a financial hole of about $1 billion 24 months from now as a result of spending every dime of this stimulus money.

MR. HANNITY: Well, he quadrupled the deficit in one year. He's going to literally quadruple the debt by the time all this is said and done. You know, there's a recent poll out, Peter Hart poll, 66 percent of registered voters now say the deficit and debt pose a very big threat to our country and to our future. It seems the American people are catching up where maybe you and I were back in January. Do you think that -- go ahead.

GOV. SANFORD: Yeah. I think that the tea parties of April 15th were a tipping point in terms of the American psyche. Enough people got to the point of critical mass of saying, enough is enough, this is crazy. And what I think they're beginning to capture is what has been long recorded in terms of economic history in this country and around the world. Paul Kennedy wrote an interesting book called "The Rise and Fall of Great Powers," and he talked about how imperial overstretch, or basically spending your way into oblivion, happened to be the death nail to many civilizations across time. And it's something that I think the American public is indeed waking up to. Because if we don't, I think we have much larger problems ahead.

MR. HANNITY: All right. Clearly, there are going to be implications for 2010 and certainly the 2012 elections. This is now Obama's deficit. This is his debt. This is his economy. This is his health care plan. Do you think ultimately -- and of course, his positions on national security, separate issue. Do you think this ultimately is the undoing of the Democratic Party? I mean, James Carville was bragging about, you know, a generation of Democratic rule. I don't see it happening.

GOV. SANFORD: I guess the Bible says pride cometh before a fall, so I would take humble exception with Carville's suggestion on that front. Because I think that what the numbers point to -- and you can already see it in this month's job numbers. You know, the Obama administration was out talking about 100,000 jobs either saved or added. And this notion of saving a job becomes really amorphous in terms of what that means. While meanwhile, over 300,000 jobs were lost around the country.

So there's a lot of backtracking. And I think that that is the bellwether as to what comes next. If this economy continues to deteriorate, I think Obama is going to have severe problems as will, by extension, the Democratic Party.

MR. HANNITY: Governor, your term ends at a very interesting time, at the end of 2010. There's been a lot of speculation you may consider a run for the presidency. A lot of people around the country have rallied around your fiscal conservatism and your rejection of the stimulus. Have you been thinking about a run for the presidency?

GOV. SANFORD: No, I haven't. I mean, I'm thinking about going back to the coast of South Carolina and trying to get back into the world of business and all those kinds of things. I'll take care of tomorrow tomorrow, but that's my aim right now.

MR. HANNITY: All right. You've ruled it out completely, or is the door open just a squeaker?

GOV. SANFORD: (Laughs.) Are you going to play that game with me? You know, anytime you say, I haven't definitively, absolutely, totally planned out the rest of my life, then that means the door is still open, and then you come back and throw different questions at me. I'm saying that's not my aim, that's not where I'm focused. But what I've learned in life, you should never say never, and a lot of strange doors open or close in life.

MR. HANNITY: That's fair. All right, Governor, thanks for being with us, and good job on the stimulus. Thanks for being ahead of the curve.

GOV. SANFORD: My pleasure, take care.


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