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Fox Hannity and Colmes Show Transcript

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Content and Programming Copyright 2003 Fox News Network, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription
BYLINE: Sean Hannity, Alan Colmes

COLMES: We're back on HANNITY & COLMES. I'm Alan Colmes. Coming up, Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North with check in with a live report. He is embedded.

But first, the president is getting sky-high approval ratings after the success in Iraq. What does this mean for Democrats hoping to take his job in 2004? Joining us here in New York, presidential candidate the Reverend Al Sharpton. Rev, good to see you.


COLMES: You hear the rhetoric; you hear what they're saying. They're hearing this great victory, saying that Bush did it, saying the Dems were wrong. And how do they come back and fight that rhetoric in a presidential campaign?

SHARPTON: Well, first of all, they distort the argument and they argue against their distortion. No one ever said they would not succeed in military action. What their question was, whether it was justified, whether diplomacy had been given enough of a chance, and can we afford occupation of Iraq?

And the problem I have with the occupation of Iraq is if we're going to spend billions of dollars in the occupation of Iraq, we have 50 states we occupy that all have state deficits. We can't afford for the 50 states we already occupy.

COLMES: What does President Al Sharpton do?

SHARPTON: I would have worked with the United Nations from the beginning; I would work with the United Nations now. I think the real question is: what progress have we made to undermine the world body that we all agreed to set up and tried to have as a place where nations come and deal with...

COLMES: But does the U.N. have a responsibility to enforce its resolutions? Not just in Iraq, but in many other countries where, Cyprus, for example, we could go down a list of countries where resolutions have not been enforced, not just Iraq.

SHARPTON: Absolutely.

COLMES: The U.N. has not been effective in enforcing its resolutions.

SHARPTON: So therefore, you then have the right to adopt a policy of preemption in the name of the U.N. is not effective. Therefore, I'm going to be the new sheriff in town and I'm going to take over. Then that works until another sheriff comes up with preemption against you.

I think it's a bad policy, a dangerous policy. But even more important, we now have to pay this. We hear the Republicans, and I'm sure we'll hear from chief counsel Sean Hannity over here, screaming about, well, we won. Won what? Right now we might have won a bill we can't pay. We don't know -- all we know is Hussein is gone. The question is what does that mean?

HANNITY: I'll explain when I get up.

COLMES: So what do you do, if, indeed, North Korea now comes to the table, Syria comes now backs off, comes to the table, don't they have a point and can't they say, look, these other regimes have fallen into place because of what we did in Iraq?

SHARPTON: First of all, we don't the experiment in Iraq in successful; it's not over. As we know is Hussein is gone. We don't know what will replace him.

COLMES: Is it better that he's gone?

SHARPTON: We don't know.

COLMES: You don't know if it's better that Hussein is gone?

SHARPTON: I think that it's good that Hussein is gone, but we don't know what will replace it and we don't know what it will cost. And I think that that is the issue that they don't want to talk about.

They want to say you won the military fight. No one ever said you wouldn't win it. The real question is won it to do what? And how are we, as a nation...

COLMES: Richard Pearl wants Congress to pass a Syrian Liberation Act, calling for regime change in Syria. He's been a key adviser, as you know, on this Iraq issue, and there is a plan to go into Syria even though they don't want to talk about it.

SHARPTON: Well, I think that there's a plan to go elsewhere. But I think that also -- the reason I keep going back to what is the aftermath of Iraq, we see a lot of Republican friendly companies in these non-bid contracts. We see a lot of very curious things.

And I have the question for Mr. Hannity when we get over there, where is bin Laden? In all of this, I still don't know where Mr. bin Laden is, I still don't know where Hussein is, and I still don't know where all of these great nuclear weapons of mass destruction -- when I'm president I'm going to put George Bush in the Bureau of Missing Persons because he keeps missing everything he goes after.

COLMES: Do you think it matters that we catch Hussein? We have to know where he is?

SHARPTON: I think that if we -- If part of what we said to the American people is that we were going to get him, then we should be able to answer that. We certainly should tell the American people where we are in the pursuit of bin Laden.

HANNITY: Reverend, welcome back. Good to see you. Any other questions you want to ask before we get started?

SHARPTON: No. I figured I would talk before you do all the talking.

HANNITY: I want to read this now from Joe Klein, "TIME" magazine, "The Serious" -- the headline is, "You Remember the Democrats, Don't you?" April 21, 2003, edition coming out, "Serious candidates are forced to share the stage with the likes of Al Sharpton and then further insulted when Sharpton gets the best applause, the biggest laughs from the crowd. One waits for the moment when one of the other Democratic candidates, someone, please, states the obvious. Sharpton is not a civil rights leader but an offensive racial show-off who has no place on the stage."

There's something happening in this Democratic ring. You are outshining, you are outdebating, you are getting the biggest applause. And you and I know and Alan know the Democratic Party doesn't know what to do with Al Sharpton.

SHARPTON: Well, I think part of the problem is these guys have had for the last decade or more the ability to decide they're going to interpret who is a civil rights leader. That's over. They can write and gnash their teeth all they want.

HANNITY: Does that make you mad?

SHARPTON: Not at all. I think they're the ones mad. Because they no longer control the definition that everyone... You know, we had our National Action Network convention here last week where everyone from Martin Luther King III to (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Certainly, they know who civil rights leaders are other than some guys who said the same thing about Jesse Jackson ten years ago.

HANNITY: Are they weak candidates? The guys you're debating around the country?

SHARPTON: I think they're very strong candidates.

HANNITY: Who do you like besides yourself?

SHARPTON: Who do I like running beside myself? I don't know. I haven't chosen a running mate yet.

HANNITY: Good answer. But I mean, when you hear their ideas, you believe you have superior ideas to them?

SHARPTON: I think that we have strong points. I think that many of them are running for programs. One of the things that I've said is that we need to deal with the structure of how we deal with rights in this country.

The Constitution, I agree with Congressman Jesse Jackson's proposed amendment in Congress. We have to have the right to education the Constitution, the right to health care and the right to education. I'm talking about fundamental rights. I'm not talking about just new programs.

HANNITY: You said you'd work with the U.N. I wrote it down as you were saying it. Did you ever read 1441?

SHARPTON: I've read a lot of them.

HANNITY: Have you ever read -- No, no, no, no, no. Have you read 1441?

SHARPTON: Sean -- the question is no. Because you try to narrow what I'm saying. What I'm saying is not a particular resolution. I'm saying to undermine the body, that's like asking me to cooperate with the police, do I agree with a certain law. The question is you don't undermine the police.

HANNITY: All right. Here's the problem. Here's the problem with your whole ideology and philosophy. We had 12 years, we had a cease-fire agreement, we had 17 resolutions. This last one, if you read it, 1441, put the burden of proof on him to give us his weapons of mass destruction, and he didn't do it again and this president meant what he said and he stood by the resolution.

Why would you, if you were president, not stand by the resolution? What's the point of passing it?

SHARPTON: What is the point, then, of saying that we're going to have a resolution in the U.N. and I'm going to determine that if I say the resolution is not abided by and if I say the clock has gone far enough that I'm going to go before the U.N...

HANNITY: Have you read 1441?

SHARPTON: No, but...

HANNITY: It said there, it said in that resolution...

SHARPTON: ... problem with the U.N. and the Security Council determining that based on the violation that is what they wanted...

HANNITY: It said in the resolution...

SHARPTON: Why did we not want the vote? Why didn't we want to vote on it?

HANNITY: It said there would be serious consequences and there were.

SHARPTON: So why didn't we go back to the U.N. and let them vote for...

HANNITY: Because we didn't have to. Because I read 1441.

SHARPTON: So if we walk out here and see someone committing a crime, why wait on the cops? Let's just grab him ourselves and lock him in our bathroom in the studio?

HANNITY: You know something? The Taliban has been toppled, Saddam's oppressive regime, his despotic regime, has been toppled. And you come on this program, and all you want to do is criticize this president.

He not only did it but he prevented Israel from getting involved, he saved all the oil wells, he did it in 27 days, he did it with a minimum of civilian casualties, collateral damage and damage to our own troops and you can't give him credit.

Why can't you say nicely that this man led a world effort and in spite of what Democrats like what yourself were saying he did it successfully and Iraq and the world is better off?

SHARPTON: Why not?

HANNITY: Why can't you say that?

SHARPTON: Because a few years ago we said why don't we give him credit for working with bin Laden to get drugs out of Afghanistan. And look at what bin Laden did to us? And why don't we talk about how we worked with Saddam Hussein when we deal with the Kurds? And why didn't we deal with Saddam Hussein better? How do we know what we're bringing in is not going to be the same or worse?

HANNITY: We don't know but it can't get much worse than Saddam...

SHARPTON: Then why should I give you credit there, because you don't know?

HANNITY: Because the Iraqi people, those children are out of jail, those adults are out of jail.

SHARPTON: Right now. What is going to keep them out of jail and how do we know we haven't created another monster?

HANNITY: Twenty-seven days ago they didn't have a shot at freedom or liberty.

COLMES: We're going to take a break. They'll keep talking. We'll break. More with Al Sharpton after the break. Also, coming up, Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North will join us. He'll have a live report.

Later, is the U.S. military violating international law? We'll talk with someone who says indeed we are. We'll be back. Lots more to come on HANNITY & COLMES.



HANNITY: Still to come tonight, we'll bring you a live update; we'll check in with our good friend Colonel Oliver North, will join us. And then later, did the U.S. violate international war with the war in Iraq? We're going to meet someone who's making those charges.

First we continue now with Democratic presidential candidate, the Reverend Al Sharpton. Have you officially filed your papers and all that?

SHARPTON: We still are in the exploratory phase. We will make an official announcement.

HANNITY: Tonight is a great night.

SHARPTON: I think that we can make more news if you keep your promise. You said you would tell me where bin Laden is.

HANNITY: If I only knew. But you know what?

SHARPTON: You said you were going to tell us.

HANNITY: This is a cute...

SHARPTON: You're sounding like George Bush now. You're changing the subject. We want to know where bin Laden is.

HANNITY: I'll give you credit. It's a cute little argument you have. But here's the deal.

SHARPTON: It's very serious.

HANNITY: This president after 9/11 took the battle to Iraq, took the battle to the Taliban, took the battle to Afghanistan, beat back the Taliban. The people of Afghanistan are freed, the women and the daughters can go to school and work respectively.

Same thing with Iraq in 27 days without a lot of help from many Democrats. He went in there and liberated those children from the prisons, liberated those adults from those torture chambers and he did it without your help, Al.

SHARPTON: And here is the problem. The problem is that many people in Iraq remember the last time we liberated them and left them holding the bag, which...

HANNITY: The regime has been changed, Al.

SHARPTON: We were friends with the guy that ended up to be the tyrant we came back for, so...

HANNITY: The regime has changed.

SHARPTON: There are a lot of people in Iraq wondering whether or not this is just after the battle Braggadocio or whether there's a real program...

HANNITY: Did you see that statue coming down?

SHARPTON: Like what's happening in Afghanistan right now. A lot of people in Afghanistan feel we've abandoned them and Mr. Bin Laden is still at large. We are certainly not doing all we said.

HANNITY: Let me ask you a question.

SHARPTON: And at what cost to America?

HANNITY: We'll find out.

SHARPTON: How are we going to deal with the budget deficits here? What about California? What about New York?

HANNITY: Reagan doubled revenues by cutting taxes in eight years and gave us -- hang on, let me finish my thought -- the longest period of peacetime economic growth in American history. And he did that without any Democratic help or assistance either.

SHARPTON: There is no president that gave a tax cut in the middle of war while they're asking for billions of dollars to occupy another country.

HANNITY: JFK, Ronald Reagan.

SHARPTON: No president ever did that before. No one.

HANNITY: And George W. Bush have been able to prove in spite of 9/11, in spite of the Clinton recession, in spite of the war in Afghanistan and the war in Iraq, is that you increase revenues when you cut taxes. Are we overtaxed now?

SHARPTON: Where will the revenues increase? We have record unemployment, record state deficits, you're sitting right here in a city where they're laying off policemen.

HANNITY: So you support...

SHARPTON: What are you talking about? I mean, explain to me where all of this...

HANNITY: He's your mayor, you can have him.

SHARPTON: No, he's a Republican mayor.

HANNITY: He was a Democrat a year before the election.

SHARPTON: He is dealing with your deficit. What are you talking about? Where is all this money?

COLMES: The amazing thing, Reverend -- you're confusing...

HANNITY: I'm not confusing anything. The longest tie of peacetime economic growth in American history.

COLMES: The main thing is this. Here's the amazing thing. JFK talked about cutting taxes when we had a surplus. Ronald Reagan left us with increased deficit and increased debt, the largest debt in history.

HANNITY: He doubled that in eight years, Alan.

COLMES: You want us to debate? Let's get rid of the Reverend. The fact of the matter is that Ronald Reagan left us with incredible deficit and debt and that was reversed...

SHARPTON: We're in a record deficit now. You don't cut taxes.

HANNITY: We got that from Clinton.

SHARPTON: Clinton had a surplus.

HANNITY: That was a recession approaching.


COLMES: Not only that but the fact of the matter is...

SHARPTON: If he were still in, there'd still be a surplus.

HANNITY: Thank God he's gone.

SHARPTON: We can go off on many things, but we certainly wouldn't be sitting around with cutting policemen as crime goes up in major cities around the country. That's the Bush legacy.

COLMES: The fact of the matter is also that when Bill Clinton just came up with an economic plan, almost every Republican said it's never going to work, it's going to cause all kinds of deficits, this is going to be a ruin the economy. What did Bill Clinton do? He left us with a surplus that has been ruined and that has been totally decimated now. And now we have incredible debt and he's moaning and groaning. They don't want to hear the record.

HANNITY: 9/11. Changed everybody's world?

SHARPTON: There has been a major concession by Bush where he's not even reducing his tax cut. It's still wrong, but even he's admitting. If your theory is right, Sean, then why is he backing away with his numbers? Why isn't he doing what he said, $750 billion? Why is he backing off?

HANNITY: He's not. I'm not allowed to talk now.

COLMES: The other issue -- The other issue. President Bush, Bush 41, had this great approval rating after the war. And after Vietnam, Lyndon Johnson didn't run again. We had a series of presidents who conducted wars and then they didn't get re-elected.

And here we have a situation where it's going to be the economy and the economy -- it's no longer Clinton's economy. They want to keep saying it's Clinton's recession. It's not Clinton's recession.

SHARPTON: It's not Clinton's recession and it's not Clinton's economic theory. This is the second tax cut he's proposed and just like his father, he will get a bump after the military action when we see by the time the election starts next year where the economy is and where we are with Iraq and others, George Bush will be defeated.

HANNITY: All right. We've got to take a break. Reverend Al, it's always good to see you. You can't even say one nice thing about a president who led us to victory in 27 days?

SHARPTON: Yes, I can. Good night, Mr. President. I hope you find bin Laden like you promised.

HANNITY: Do you want to bet -- do you want to take a bet he's going to be re-elected?

SHARPTON: I don't bet because I don't want to rob you.

HANNITY: Here's my bet. Not any money. But you stand in front of the White House saying Bush was right with a sign.

SHARPTON: I will do what?

HANNITY: Stand in front of the White House with a sign saying "Bush was right."

SHARPTON: If Bush is re-elected, I will join you in front of the White House. If he's not re-elected, I will invite you to the White House.

HANNITY: OK. I'll be there.

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