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Dick Morris on 'Faltering' Hillary Campaign

Hannity & Colmes

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: That is the ad everybody is talking about today. It appeared mysteriously on the Web, and as of yet the person responsible for it has not come forward. Even so, it's been discussed all day long and, perhaps, could be bad news for Hillary Clinton's campaign.

Joining us now with more is former Clinton adviser Dick Morris. By the way, be sure to go to DickMorris.com to get Dick's latest columns and columns for free.

DICK MORRIS, POLITICAL STRATEGIST:George Orwell lives again. Well, I think they call that a negative ad, Alan. I don't think it's going to have a big impact, but it's an interesting ad.

But, you know, Hillary doesn't need ads like that to be faltering. Her candidacy is faltering, not falling apart yet, but faltering, and Obama's is surging. And I wrote a column on it that's available if you want to look at the FOX News Web site under FOX Blogs, "Hillary Falters while Obama Surges."

And it's all due to three basic mistakes Hillary made: taking on Geffen, which drove blacks to Obama; going to Selma and looking as phony as anything, trying to preempt an event that was clearly Obama's; and now, saying correctly, I think, but bad politics, that she would stay in Iraq long after she becomes president.

COLMES: You know, I'm just curious, because I know that you've cited -- and I read your piece today -- the 8 point separation in the "Time" magazine poll. But you've got the Opinion Research poll, you've got 15 points there. You've got A.P.-Ipsos poll. You've got Hillary at 38, Obama 21. You've got the "Wall Street Journal" poll, Hillary 40, Obama 28. Those are all done within the same period of time.

MORRIS: Yes, but most of those polls show closure. They just started from a different baseline point. There's no poll out there that doesn't show that Obama has moved up significantly. And most of the polls, not all of them, show Hillary dropping, Edwards staying in third place.

And it's so interesting. They came out of the gate, and you would have thought that Obama would be the inexperienced one who'd be messing up, but, instead, it's been Hillary. She has been off-balance, unresponsive answering, can't get an affirmative theme out there. And Obama is handling himself like an old pro.

COLMES: You know, in some of these polls, Dick, like the A.P. poll and the "Wall Street Journal" poll, there have been about 12 to 13 points on and off over the last couple of months. So there hasn't been a dip and a disparity between Hillary and Obama in a couple of those polls so, you know...

(CROSSTALK)

MORRIS: No, but, Alan, I went through all 50 polls. You can get them on RealClearPolitics.com. I did averages for the first half of January, second half, February, February, first half of March, and there clear is a closure, whether it's from 26 points to 15, or from 15 points to 8, it depends on where the baseline of the polls start with.

But clearly, clearly, two things has happened in the Democratic primary. Edwards has gone nowhere, and Obama has moved up rather smartly.

COLMES: Where do you see it going from here? I mean, clearly -- and we've historically seen that whoever is ahead at this point doesn't necessarily stay that way, and things go up, and there are dips, and there's a roller coaster effect up and down. So can anybody predict right now what's going to happen?

MORRIS: Well, history is deceiving, because you've never had a process where everybody voted on one day, February 5th. Just about the whole country is going to vote that day. So you really have to have the money in the bank on January 1st. And to raise it, you better be in the front-runner or very close on Labor Day.

I think all you can say right now is that this is going to be a tough two-way race between Hillary and Obama. And it will very likely go down to February 5th.

HANNITY: Dick...

MORRIS: I think the lead will change hands several times. I think Obama may overtake Hillary, and then Hillary may move back. I still ultimately believe Hillary will win, because I think she will bring in a lot of single women that have never voted before. But it's going to be a fight. And it's so interesting that the Republican race is turning into a rout while the Democratic race is turning into a horse race.

HANNITY: The one thing we can say, Dick -- and, by the way, welcome back to the program -- is the coronation is over.

MORRIS: Thank you.

HANNITY: You know, especially -- look at all the high-level defectors that are now openly supporting Barack Obama, and the list gets longer every day. I look at the "Time" magazine poll, and it's very indicative of a lot of the polls that you mentioned, Dick. It shows, for example, in the south, Clinton is up within the margin of error, only 4 points. Obama, in the West Coast, is winning and beating her by a point, but, still, within the margin of error.

MORRIS: Right.

HANNITY: In the Midwest, it's tight. The only place she seems to have any kind of lead is in the Northeast. You know, if you couple that with the revelation of Bob Shrum and his new book that Kerry considered Hillary for V.P., her negatives were way too high. A Rasmussen poll, nearly half say they'd never vote for Hillary.

MORRIS: ... 46 percent.

HANNITY: Clearly the Democrats sense she's not a winner in the general election.

MORRIS: I think that she's proven in the opening going to be scripted and stiff. You know, I have a theory. When the son of a famous father runs, he or she often has trouble because they're always compared with their father. And which of us can measure up at that point? And it really ends up hurting people.

But I believe that here Hillary is suffering by the comparison with Bill. You can't look at Hillary without thinking how much better Bill Clinton is. You look at her being stiff and scripted, and you say, hey, Bill would never be like that.

HANNITY: You know, but it's even more than that. When she gets worked up before a crowd, Dick, it's like fingernails on a chalkboard. And even her strongest supporters have told me privately that she needs work, she doesn't have the natural skills.

Now, there's one other thing. R. Emmett Tyrrell, "American Spectator," has a brand-new book out, "The Clinton Crack-up." One of the things he is alleging in this book, that Bill's let's just say conduct has continued since he's left office. Is that going to be a factor if any of these things become public?

MORRIS: Yes, I think it probably will. I think that the focus on Bill is a mistake. I think we should be focusing on Hillary. When Bill was running, I would always tell him, let them criticize Hillary. At least they're not attacking you.

But did you see that video, Sean and Alan, where she turns off the electric lights and says, "Take that Iran, take that Libya"? Did you see that? There's a video.

HANNITY: What she says is -- and this was just this past weekend -- she is like, "Every time I turn off the lights, I'm saying, 'You take that, Iran, you take that, Venezuela.'"

MORRIS: She says, "My father used to turn off all the lights. And now when I turn off the lights, I say" -- and then she pantomimes it -- she says, "Take that, Iran, take that, Venezuela."

But, you know, she's like that. Every move, everything she ever talks about, she imputes a political dimension to. In her memoirs, she said she permed her hair in solidarity with the first lady of Arkansas, Barbara Pryor, who was being criticized for doing that. And I can imagine her walking around the house doing that.

HANNITY: Yes, it was scary. But Barack Obama is getting very, very smart. Just last week, his wife went out there and said basically he's the person of principle in the race. She's not.

You know, this weekend, he was basically distinguishing his position on the war in Iraq. "I'm the only one that was out there against this thing from the beginning." Now, in response to that -- this is pretty fascinating -- she said this weekend, quote, "We never should have gone to Iraq."

She voted for the war, the authorization to use force in Iraq. She made the case as strongly as the president did. When we captured Saddam Hussein a year and four months later, she bragged she voted for that. "I voted for that. I was responsible for that."

MORRIS: Right.

HANNITY: So, clearly...

MORRIS: And right now.

HANNITY: ... if I'm running these campaign ads, this is a field day. It's going to make John Kerry look like, you know, a principled politician.

MORRIS: And right now, Sean, she goes to the "New York Times" and she says, after I'm president, we're going to provide air support, logistical support, intelligence support. We're going to keep Iran out of Iraq. We're going to pursue Al Qaeda in the provinces where we have them down.

HANNITY: She was going to end it.

MORRIS: That's 75,000 to 100,000 troops. Now, I think that's right, and you think that's right. But for goodness sakes, the antiwar left is going to kill her for that.

COLMES: If you think she's right, Dick, will you vote for her?

MORRIS: That was a huge mistake.

COLMES: If you think she's right, will you vote for her?

MORRIS: I don't think so.

COLMES: Well, if she's right, why wouldn't...

(CROSSTALK)

COLMES: Your supporting her position. We'll pick it up, more with Dick Morris.

And Al Gore is getting slammed by his hometown newspaper for making money off a zinc mine that some say is hurting the land. But is it really? We'll look at the latest allegations against him.

And could this be the week we finally learn who the father is of Anna Nicole's baby girl? Look at why there may be a bombshell dropped this week, coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: As we continue now with former Clinton adviser Dick Morris, all right, Dick, a lot has been made about this big, big fight that took place between Nancy Pelosi and Maxine Waters over the war behind the scenes. The Democrats, they go forward with these nonbinding resolutions, but they really want to appease the antiwar base, as we've discussed many times.

MORRIS: Right.

HANNITY: The problem and the dilemma for them is the blue dogs, they don't want any part of appearing like they're appeasers or cut, run, surrender, and retreat. So the solution to this is that they're offering a series of pork barrel projects to entice these congressmen. I've got to believe this intramural fighting and that strategy is going to come back to hurt them.

MORRIS: That's exactly what hobbled Clinton in the first two years. He need every last vote on the left, so to get them to vote for capital punishment for a federal crime, he inserted all kinds of pork and looked terrible doing it.

One of the most interesting things is two very courageous Democratic congressmen, Elliott Engel from the Bronx of New York and Gary Ackerman from Queens, New York, went to Nancy Pelosi and said, "Take the language out of the bill saying we have to go to Congress to get permission to bomb Iran. Take that out."

And they rounded up, not just the blue dogs, but a lot of pro-Israel members, got 20 members who wouldn't vote for it. And then Nita Lowey, from Westchester -- these are all liberal Democrats -- blocked $80 million that was going to go to the Palestinians because they won't renounce violence. So there is a lot of good stuff happening there.

HANNITY: But they're collapsing. Clearly the pressure from the extreme MoveOn.org -- they're the ones that say they own this party now...

MORRIS: Right, they own the party.

HANNITY: ... is now influencing every decision they make, and it's certainly put them in a box. So it seems like strategically that's hard. All right, now I want to go to the Republicans.

MORRIS: And, you know, Ralph Nader is waiting in the wings, because I think he's going to run in '08. And that's the ultimate coercive power.

HANNITY: Well, that's a real energetic candidacy. Let me go to Fred Thompson here for a minute. Will he have an impact in the primary? Should he get in? Will he get in? And if he gets in, what happens?

MORRIS: Well, I think he probably should get in. I think that he would be a very strong candidate. I think that he would be the only one who I can see defeating Giuliani. And I favor Rudy. I think he would be a great candidate. But I think Thompson would be a good candidate, too.

HANNITY: He looks like a movie star in that picture right there.

MORRIS: But it's clear that Romney is never going to break 10 percent. McCain is falling apart. And Gingrich is taking forever to make up his mind, so I think Thompson ought to run.

HANNITY: Why don't you think Romney will do better? Why are you so certain of that?

MORRIS: Well, first of all, in that same poll you cited, where you said 46 percent wouldn't vote for Hillary, 36 percent said they wouldn't vote for Romney.

HANNITY: But they don't know him.

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: ... of Americans, according to the Gallup poll that came out, don't know him.

MORRIS: Yes, I know, but that's the point. They know that he's a Mormon. And that's what's holding him down. I think it's unfair; I think it's wrong. But it's obvious.

Most of the people -- ask how many people won't vote for Sam Brownback. You get, you know, 5 percent. The people that are saying they won't vote for Romney know one thing about him, and that's stopping it. And there's a reason why this guy has never gotten above 10 percent and probably never will.

COLMES: Dick, are you suggesting that there's...

MORRIS: By the way, I just want to spend a second on the Gonzales thing.

COLMES: Before we go, I want to ask you about Romney before we go to Gonzales, Dick.

MORRIS: OK.

COLMES: Are you suggesting that there are people or a number of people or enough of them in the Republican Party are bigoted against anybody who's not a Christian? Is that what you're suggesting?

MORRIS: Yep, absolutely.

COLMES: There are a bunch of bigots?

MORRIS: They're wrong to do it. They're wrong to do it. It's bigotry. It's just like being anti-Catholic or anti-Semitic, but it's there. And obviously it's the thing that's holding Romney down.

(CROSSTALK)

COLMES: Is that your view of the Republican base, that it's a bunch of bigots who won't vote for anybody but a Christian?

MORRIS: No, but I think about a third of them won't vote for a Mormon. And I think that's a disgrace.

HANNITY: Latter Day Saints of Christ. It's a Christian church, too.

COLMES: Hold on. Hold on. Let me get an answer. Go ahead, Dick.

MORRIS: I think it's a disgrace, but I think about a third of the Republican base, the polls say, they say a third of the Republican base says I would never support a Mormon. And I think that's wrong. I think it's despicable, but I think it's true.

COLMES: Now, a lot of people will not -- there's a very unpopular war going on. Tonight is the fourth anniversary of the launch of that war. Do you think anybody could get elected president of the United States who is going to support the Bush policy on this war?

MORRIS: Well, I think a Democrat is much more likely to beat a Republican in the election, and I think that that's the unfortunate central fact of our political lives. And Iraq is dragging them down.

But, yes, I could sure see a set of circumstances where Giuliani could beat Hillary, and Giuliani could be pro-war, and Hillary could be whatever you think she is on the war. I think that that certainly is true. I don't think that that's a permanent kiss of death.

On the other hand, having said that, I still think Hillary is going to win the nomination, and I still think she's unfortunately more likely to win the election.

COLMES: All right, you want to talk about Gonzales. Does Bush have a Gonzales problem?

MORRIS: Yes, I want to talk about him.

COLMES: We only have a moment left, and I know you want to get this in.

MORRIS: I do.

COLMES: Does Gonzales have to resign?

MORRIS: No. I think the administration may want him to resign, but they shouldn't. The administration should show some guts for a change and stand up and say, "We have the right to fire any of these guys. We fired them because they wouldn't prosecute voter fraud and other crimes. It's our right to enforce the president's policy on U.S. attorneys. That's why they're appointed and not civil servants, and you guys can go fly a kite." And that's what the administration should say. Where are their guts?

COLMES: Do you think it's OK to fire attorneys because they're not prosecuting enough Democrats and prosecuting too many Republicans? I know he has the right to do it, but do you think that's a good system?

MORRIS: Because they're not prosecuting whoever the president -- because they're not prosecuting whoever the president wants. We have an appointive system of the Justice Department of prosecutors. And we do it because it's an instrument of presidential policy.

We do it because we want the president to be able to determine what crimes should be prosecuted, which ones are more important than others, and putting in good prosecutors into place. And to second guess it was like when they tried to impeach Andrew Johnson for firing the secretary of war. It's a congressional outrage. The White House should stand up on this.

HANNITY: And you're right. The Republicans need a backbone here. They serve at the pleasure of the president. They haven't pointed out the double standard. And they're allowing this to become an issue.

MORRIS: Their terms expired.

HANNITY: I agree.

MORRIS: Yes.

HANNITY: Anyway, Dick, thanks for being with us. We'll see you next Monday. Appreciate it.

MORRIS: Thank you.


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