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Discussion of Bush's Speech and McCain's First Term

Hannity & Colmes



COLMES: Welcome to HANNITY & COLMES. Getting right to our top story tonight.

President Bush made big news early this morning by criticizing those who would negotiate with Iran among others. The president's comments came while speaking to the Israeli Knesset.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We've heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi -- tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared, "Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided."

We have an obligation to call this what it is. The false comfort of appeasement which has been repeatedly discredited by history.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLMES: The White House says Bush wasn't speaking specifically about Barack Obama, but Senator Obama still responded, saying, quote, "George Bush knows that I have never supported engagement with terrorists, and the president's extraordinary politicization of foreign policy and the politics of fear do nothing to secure the American people or our stalwart ally Israel."

Other Democrats also weighed in. Speaker Pelosi and Congressman Rahm Emanuel condemned the remarks, while Senator Joe Biden of Delaware called them, quote, "B.S.," and I'm paraphrasing.

Joining us now with his.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Oh, I think he'd know.

COLMES: We know what that means.

Joining us now with his interpretation of what the president said is former speaker of the House and FOX News contributor and author of "Days of Infamy," Newt Gingrich.

Now, Mr. Speaker, is there any doubt that the president was including in his comments thoughts about Barack Obama? Is there any doubt about that?

NEWT GINGRICH, "DAYS OF INFAMY" AUTHOR: All Barack Obama had to say was, "I agree with the president."

COLMES: Yes.

GINGRICH: I don't think we should talk with terrorists, I don't think you can negotiate with radicals, and I think that the president made a very good point about 1939, and I don't think you could have talked Adolf Hitler out of being evil. That's all he had to say.

COLMES: But the issue was Dana Perino, the spokesperson for the White House, denied that the president was including Barack Obama or thinking about him in his comments. Do we believe those denials?

GINGRICH: Wait a second. What does it tell you about the level of guilt that Senator Obama must feel that he identified a reference to a 1939 isolationist nut cake senator as referring to him? I mean it strikes me the people who -- well what you just saw was a revealing test of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, all of whom were offended by a description of appeasement, isolationism, self-delusion, which they thought must refer to themselves.

COLMES: Well, wait a minute. Are you telling me the White House was not at all thinking about the Democrats or Barack Obama when they said that? It was totally a nonpolitical statement, right?

GINGRICH: Well, first of all, if he was referring to anybody in particular, he was referring to Jimmy Carter who recently hugged a murdering terrorist in Damascus.

COLMES: And Barack Obama denounced his meeting with Hamas.

GINGRICH: Exactly. So Obama had a great opportunity tonight to side with the president, be in favor of strength, and say he's exactly right, appeasement did not work with Adolf Hitler. You tell me, Alan. Why would they go out of their way to pick a fight at a point where it makes them look like they're pro-appeasement.

COLMES: Well, Mr. Speaker, I think it was the president who picked the fight. You know, actually I think he was speaking about Brent Scowcroft, when asked if he -- we should talk to Ahmadinejad, he said absolutely, or maybe he was talking about James Baker who said.

GINGRICH: OK.

COLMES: . I think we should talk to our enemies.

GINGRICH: So why.

COLMES: I think that's who the president was talking about?

GINGRICH: Right. So if he was talking about two Republicans, Alan, why is it that the liberal Democrats are so nut cake on this thing?

COLMES: Oh, they're nut cake.

GINGRICH: Why would they go out of their way, why would they go out of their way, to identify themselves with appeasement, isolationism, ignorance of dictatorship? I mean it's almost a psychological study in guilt.

COLMES: It sounds disingenuous to act all innocent as though the president had no idea who he might be thinking of or referring to, wasn't thinking about the Democrats, was not referring to Barack Obama's comment that he would engage with our enemies.

GINGRICH: But what.

COLMES: And they had no idea that was what's going on.

GINGRICH: What if Nancy Pelosi had said, you know, I think this opposition to dealing with Adolf Hitler is so good we're going to move a resolution tomorrow commending the president for being against dealing with Adolf Hitler?

HANNITY: Hey, Mr. Speaker, let me -- the sensitivity shows that they know they're vulnerable on this issue, in my view, and the fact that they were so quick to assume that it was about Senator Obama's amazing here, but we do have an Obama doctrine. We do know his position.

He was asked in a July 2007 debate, and the question was simple, would he be willing, in his first year, first administration, to meet with the leaders of North Korea, Syria, and other hostile nations without preconditions? His answer was he would be willing to do so.

On his own Web site Obama brags, quote, he is -- Obama is the -- only major candidate who supports tough, direct presidential diplomacy with Iran without preconditions. So I think this is a legitimate question for him.

After Hitler invaded Poland in 1939, before we were at war with Nazi Germany, do you think it would be wise -- would have it been wise for us to engage in talks with him? Is that a fair question?

GINGRICH: Sure, I think a deeper question is -- it's quite clear that Franklin Delano Roosevelt had no illusions because as early as 1937 he made speeches attacking the dictatorship and talking about how to defend the democracies. As you know I've written two novels now, "Pearl Harbor" and "Days of Infamy," that deal with this very period and look at what happened in 1930s and 1941.

What I'm fascinated by, Sean, is that -- anybody who's watching us, if you'll just get the text of the president's speech and read it, there's no reference to Democrats, there's no reference to Senator Obama, there's no reference to American politics. This is a clear, historic statement that appeasement is bad, that dictators are evil, and that you should not try to deal with terrorists.

Now why the Democrats would decide that offended them I think tells you how guilty they feel and how vulnerable they feel.

HANNITY: Yes.

GINGRICH: . about a left-wing policy of weakness, appeasement and defeat?

HANNITY: Well, I also think that there's another issue here, and if he's going to meet with Assad of Syria, if he's going to meet with Kim Jong-il, if he wants to meet with Ahmadinejad -- you know, what is the first question we're going to ask Ahmadinejad, the holocaust denier who repeatedly stated he wants to wipe Israel off the map? What's the first question we could ask him?

GINGRICH: Well, let me tell you. The first thing I was briefed this afternoon by somebody who pointed out that maybe as many as half of all- American deaths in Iraq have been caused by the Iranians. We know that the Syrians and the North Koreans are trying to build a nuclear facility in Syria and lying about it until it was destroyed by the Israelis.

So when Senator Obama says that he wants to meet without precondition with three of the worst dictatorships on the planet, I think there's a lot to ask him about why isn't he, in fact, remarkably like the isolationist senators of the 1930s.

HANNITY: Well, you know, and it's funny because they're trying to say, well, Reagan did the same thing when he met with Gorbachev. That was after he unilaterally built up our military, moved to deploy Pershing II in Europe, pursued as the I Strategic Defense. So there's a great difference and distinction, right?

GINGRICH: Well, Reagan had a strategy for eliminating the Soviet Union which worked, and I think it's very hard to argue that Reagan gave anything to Gorbachev in those negotiations.

HANNITY: All right. We got to take a break. We'll have more with former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

And still to come tonight, the Obama camp absolutely furious over Bush's appeasement comment, but given the senator's previous comments in dealing with Iran, are the president's remarks accurate? Or they're off the mark?

Plus Senator McCain unveils his plan for America. We have an all-star panel will break that down. Jack Kemp coming up straight ahead.

ANNOUNCER: HANNITY & COLMES is brought to you by.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: As we continue on HANNITY & COLMES, and we continue with former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Mr. Speaker, Newt.org, you have a newsletter, and the headline and a recent one was "Real Change or Catastrophic Defeat," and that is time for a Republican wake-up call.

In that you talked about losing Dennis Hastert's seat, a seat that Republicans had held for 76 years but for Watergate. You talked about a district in Louisiana which President Bush won by 19 points in 2004. Now we have a seat that was won in 2006, in Mississippi, that was lost by eight points on Tuesday.

What does this mean for the Republican Party?

GINGRICH: Well, I think this is -- I can't imagine a more decisive and a clearer wake-up call. The country is sending a clear signal. They want to see dramatic, real change. And I outlined in that particular newsletter, and as you know it's a free newsletter that goes out every week that people can get at Newt.org.

And I outlined in there nine initial steps just for the first couple of weeks. This was not a complete program. In fact, this week my newsletter was on the politician's energy crisis and outlined an entire series of changes on energy.

HANNITY: Yes.

GINGRICH: But I think Republicans have got to understand. People don't want talk, people don't want slogans, people want to see decisive, real action.

HANNITY: All right. This is an ongoing discussion we've had here. I actually think this is -- if this doesn't serve as a wake-up call, the loss of three highly conservative seats. You know, these are seats that never should have been lost.

GINGRICH: Right.

HANNITY: If they don't adapt a bold agenda the next 173 days, if they don't come up with something similar to a contract with America -- energy independence, eliminate earmarks, balance the budget, offense war on terror, secure the borders, no nationalized health care -- if they don't put their signatures on a piece of paper, I don't see -- and organize quickly and inspire people, this could be a disastrous election for Republicans.

Can it not?

GINGRICH: Yes, I think that the first threshold for people is that they're very angry with where the Republican Party got them, and unless the Republicans send a clear signal that they've gotten the message and that they're really changing, I think people are probably going to punish them this fall.

HANNITY: Do you have any faith that they can do this or will do this?

GINGRICH: Yes. Well.

HANNITY: You have faith? No? Is that a no?

GINGRICH: No, no, no, I couldn't hear you. There was a technical.

HANNITY: Do you have any faith that the Republican leadership is going to organize a coalition and do something like this?

GINGRICH: I think it is possible, but I think it's very hard. Legislative bodies are naturally very slow and very divided, and they have a tendency to have the safest members sit around and say well, I'm not going to lose, so I don't have to change at all.

COLMES: Mr. Speaker, I was reading your speech that you gave earlier today. You said we're facing the greatest crisis in the preservation of our government since the 1850s and 1860s. We've become less capable, we're decaying toward decisive defeat, decaying also in our economy, and our education.

Why should the American people reward the political party that's been in power that has brought us the very vulnerabilities you mentioned?

GINGRICH: Well, I think if you look at the whole country, both parties have more than enough blame to share, Alan. I think both parties have been guilty in a variety of ways. I think the collapse of Detroit, for example, has been almost entirely done by Democrats. I think other problems have been done largely by Republicans, and I think the real question for America is: is either of these parties going to figure out the scale of change we need?

And is either of these parties going to offer a program of fundamental real change that enables us to move in a direction that we have reason to believe will succeed? I think both parties can share more than enough guilt for where we are today.

COLMES: We have Republicans.

GINGRICH: And I say that, by the way.

COLMES: Yes.

GINGRICH: . as a person who's been an active Republican his entire life. I don't say it with any pride. I wish my party had done a better job.

COLMES: Well, that's an honest and candid assessment. But we've had -- you know, a Republican running the presidency for eight years. Up until two years ago, they ran the House and the Senate, largely result of what you did in 1994. You guys have been pretty much in charge for years and years and years.

GINGRICH: Yes, but, Alan, they completely -- once I left in `90s -- in `98, they completely underestimated how deep the changes have to be in the bureaucracy. When you look at the failure to react to Katrina which was a disaster, you look at the failure to react to the Census Bureau collapse, which is a $15 billion disaster, you look at the failure to react to the Department of Energy collapse in clean coal, which is an absurd disaster, again, again, you look at the failure to clean out the State Department.

COLMES: Well.

GINGRICH: . which continues to be, I think, fundamentally opposed to Bush's policies.

COLMES: That's why Americans are likely to vote for somebody who hasn't been in Washington for a very long time come November.

GINGRICH: Well, they might if they -- unless they learn what he wants to do.

COLMES: Well, they will. Thank you very much for being with us tonight, Mr. Speaker.

GINGRICH: Thank you.

COLMES: And coming up, as politicians take sides in the Bush/Obama dispute, I'm going to tell you where senators McCain and Clinton stand on the issues and their reactions are coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCCAIN: We'll be discussing an issue with the American people, and that is why does Barack Obama -- Senator Obama want to sit down with a state sponsor of terrorism? What does he want to talk about?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLMES: Well, Senator John McCain reacting to the brewing controversy between President Bush and Barack Obama. The president's comments have set off a political fray with even Obama's rival Hillary Clinton weighing in.

Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is the kind of statement that has no place in any presidential address and certainly to use an important moment like the 60th anniversary celebration of Israel to make a political point seems terribly misplaced.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLMES: Joining us now the author of "America Alone" Mark Steyn and FOX News contributor Juan Williams.

Mark, I think Obama is exactly correct when he says it's the height of hypocrisy for John McCain to deliver a lofty speech that civility and -- partisanships in the morning and then embrace George Bush's partisan attack in the afternoon, and for those who claim, as we did earlier, who's he attacking -- who is Bush referring to when he said some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists? Who are the some he's talking?

MARK STEYN, "AMERICA ALONE" AUTHOR: Lighten up here, Alan. He didn't mention Barack Obama. He didn't mention Nancy Pelosi. He didn't mention John.

COLMES: Who's he talking about?

STEYN: He didn't mention John Kerry. It says a lot about the Democrats, the minute you talk about appeasing terrorists, Barack Obama assumes you're talking about him.

COLMES: Who's he talking about?

STEYN: I -- he could be talking about the leader of the -- new Democrat Party in Canada, a senior former Northern Ireland.

HANNITY: Jimmy Carter.

STEYN: A former Northern Ireland secretary in the United Kingdom and a good half a dozen European.

HANNITY: Carter.

COLMES: All right. Juan Williams.

STEYN: It's a whole.

COLMES: Yes.

STEYN: It's a whole mindset that wants to talk to these guys.

COLMES: Juan Williams, do you buy this tap dancing they're doing away what the president was really saying today?

JUAN WILLIAMS, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO: Well, it appears to me that if you look at mindset, the mindset is to distance themselves from George Bush and his comments across the waters about American politics that I think were really unfair. I think if he wants to talk about displays of America and strength and stopping, you know, not appeasing anybody, where were the troops that were necessary to get the job done in Iraq from the start?

That would have been a show of strength. So I just -- I find this unbelievable that the president would have done it, and I think, of course, it's political, and you could -- you know, say maybe it's Jimmy Carter he's talking about, maybe it's Barack Obama, but I think he lumps them together, and it was a shot across the bow as we begin the fall election.

COLMES: Hey, Mark, can you imagine what would happen if a Democrat across the waters made a comment, taking a slap at a Republican, calling them appeasers.

STEYN: Hey, hey.

COLMES: . while overseas and in foreign country addressing a foreign country's legislatures?

STEYN: Democrats do.

COLMES: Can you imagine what would happen?

STEYN: Jimmy Carter does that all the time. That's why they gave him the Nobel Prize.

COLMES: Oh, and you applaud him for that, right?

STEYN: And he's a former president.

COLMES: You applaud him for that.

STEYN: This -- no, this is ridiculous. George Bush gave a serious speech on the 60th anniversary referencing the holocaust and pilgrims and President Ahmadinejad, and it is horrible and parochial and narcissistic and self-absorbed for Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama.

HANNITY: Hey, Mark.

STEYN: . to assume they're the ones being talked about.

HANNITY: Carter did meet with Hamas. That's the point. You know, everybody remember Jim McDermott? Does everybody remember John Kerry's comments and Ted Kennedy's comments and John Murtha's comments? I think there's been a whole series of outrageous things said that embolden our enemies and undermine our troop morale.

Juan, I want to go to you. When Barack Obama laid out in that debate in July of 2007 what I call the Obama doctrine. The Obama doctrine's very clear, without preconditions, he'll meet with the leaders of rouge terrorist-supporting nations. That's his -- and she called it naive and irresponsible.

Why can't we say that -- call that for what it is? It's appeasement?

WILLIAMS: Appeasement is a pretty strong word, and this is just for the record, historically, remember it was Franklin Delano Roosevelt who -- stood up and said, you know.

HANNITY: Wait a minute.

WILLIAMS: . we have to confront this. Don't forget that. But you come.

HANNITY: Look historically, here's a question for Barack Obama.

WILLIAMS: Right.

HANNITY: In 1939 Poland has been invaded. We're not at war with them. Would he meet with Adolf Hitler?

WILLIAMS: Well, I don't think there's anything to talk to Hitler about, but don't forget that people ranging across Europe did try to talk to Hitler and try to say, you know, are there ways we can settle this?

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: What's the advantage, Sean, in saying, oh, there's an axis of evil and we're not dealing with you? What has been the consequence? In fact, most of our allies has said to us, they don't like it. They want some kind of negotiated settlements around the world.

HANNITY: All right. I understood, but what do you say, Mark Steyn, to the holocaust denier who has repeatedly threatened to wipe Israel off the map? What do you say to him? What do you say to Kim Jong-il?

STEYN: Well, this is what's disgusting. When the president of the United States meets the president of Iran, what is he to talk about when the president of Iran wants to wipe Israel off the map and when he denies the holocaust? So all you do is make those.

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: What about Joseph Kennedy? Right?

STEYN: Yes. No, no, it's worse than that. When Lord Halifax met Adolf Hitler, Adolf Hitler was pretending to be a House-trained politician. Ahmadinejad is perfectly straightforward about that.

HANNITY: But Juan, there's a certain sensitivity here, and the sensitivity is this. This is a vulnerability for the Democrats, and they know it, and the strategy is oh, we're not going to be swift boated here, but the reality is the Obama doctrine is to talk to Ahmadinejad, talk to Kim Jong-Il, talk to Assad, and do it without preconditions which, in the minds of many, is naive and irresponsible.

Oh, I just quoted Hillary. She said that.

WILLIAMS: Well, you know, Sean, look at -- let's talk for a second about what the reality is. When, in fact, there were negotiations with Kim Jong-Il, what was the consequence? The consequence is that we made advances there. We have tremendously changed the dynamic with North Korea today because of engagement.

That's a positive sign.

HANNITY: Remember, Reagan Pershing IIs. Reagan pursued SDI. Reagan had a -- you've got to have some unilateral strength first, otherwise it's irresponsible.

WILLIAMS: I don't think that -- are you doubting of America's strength?

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: I don't have any doubt of America's strength?

HANNITY: I've got to run, guys.

STEYN: And he does, he does.

HANNITY: Appreciate it.

And coming up John McCain's vision of America puts a timetable on victory in Iraq. We'll check in with Jack Kemp coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)










(NEWSBREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: By January 2013, America has welcomed home most of the servicemen and -women who have sacrificed terribly so that America might be secure in her freedom. The Iraq war has been won. Iraq is a functioning democracy, although still suffering from the lingering effects of decades of tyranny and centuries of sectarian tension.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: That was Senator McCain from earlier today, predicting a victory in Iraq on his watch. The Arizona Senator has maintained that America cannot leave Iraq until the job is finished. And that job includes ensuring the Iraqi government can defend itself, uphold the law and order throughout the entire nation. And this is in stark contrast to Barack Obama's foreign policy agenda.

Joining us now, former vice-presidential candidate and McCain supporter Jack Kemp is back with us.

JACK KEMP, JOHN MCCAIN SUPPORTER: Hi, Sean.

HANNITY: Good to see you, my friend. Welcome back.

KEMP: Thank you.

HANNITY: We've been discussing this all night. This is the Obama doctrine, and that is, you know, he was asked a question in July of '07. It was very simple: would he personally meet with the leaders of Iran, North Korea, Syria, other hostile nations, without preconditions?

His answer: "I would." He's claimed on his Web site he's the only major candidate who supports tough, direct presidential diplomacy with Iran without preconditions.

He's sending all his surrogates out there to fight about it. That's his position. Why would he be upset?

KEMP: Well, I was really surprised, to tell you the truth. First of all, President Bush at the Knesset in Israel did not even mention Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, and I'm reminded of the famous Shakespearean phrase "me thinkest the lady protests too much.

They rushed out with Biden and Kerry and all of their surrogates to protest, and he didn't even mention his name, A.

B, if it had been a smart move by -- by Barack Obama, he would have said he agreed with President Bush.

I think it was a big mistake. It certainly gives the upper hand to John McCain. And very frankly, I think it's going to be a big issue, circa 2008 campaign.

HANNITY: Yes, look, I do, too. And Congressman, Jack, quarterback, I always -- never know what to call you.

KEMP: Careful.

HANNITY: But -- well, yes, right. I don't know which one you're most offended by. I know it's not quarterback, because I saw that ring on your finger.

Is this a fair question, because President Bush was talking about appeasement in historic terms, and especially peace in our time and Chamberlain versus Churchill? Is it a fair question?

After the Nazis invaded Poland, before we were at war with them, is it fair to ask the question, "Would you have met with Hitler in 1939?" Would that be fair in this campaign to get a perspective of where he's coming from, with the Obama doctrine?

KEMP: Well, Neville Chamberlain did meet with Churchill [SIC] at Munich. And -- Neville Chamberlain did meet with Hitler...

HANNITY: "Peace in our times."

KEMP: ... in Munich in '38. And it was a terrible blunder to come back and wave a white piece of paper and say, "Peace in our times."

I think the president had a legitimate point to make. I think the Obama campaign overreacted. In my opinion, they should have said, "We agree; we don't believe in appeasement. But we do believe in a surge in diplomacy."

In fact, I think John McCain, who has supported a surge militarily, also believes in a surge diplomatically, but not face-to-face with Ahmadinejad.

HANNITY: Let me go back to an old debate that we have been having, and that is Senator McCain's relationship with conservatives, the very conservatives that he said at CPAC that he can't win this election without.

KEMP: Right.

HANNITY: And more specifically, rather than taking the mantel of energy and dependence, conservatives -- I'm going to start forwarding you my e-mail. They are furious that he's bought into this global warming so- called hysteria, and they're mad he's brought back the issue of comprehensive immigration reform. And there's a lot of anger that he was critical of North Carolina Republicans for bringing up the issue of Jeremiah Wright.

And they feel that there's a pattern, that he's just too willing to poke conservatives in the eye. That's the essence of the mail I'm getting. How do you respond to those conservative critics?

KEMP: Well, bless their heart, they're going to keep the issue alive, as they should, and as you have Sean, for which I've praised you.

Having said all of that, there's no doubt in my mind, as you ran that short clip from his speech today in Columbus, Ohio, about what the world would look like circa 2013 after his first term in office. That was a conservative speech. Nuclear power, immigration, but control the border first, conservative judges at every level.

COLMES: What about a guest worker program for illegal immigrants, Mr. Secretary? I don't think conservatives are going to like that very much, when McCain said that today.

KEMP: I didn't hear you, Alan.

COLMES: He talked about a guest worker program for illegal immigrants.

KEMP: You know what? There has to be a guest worker program because you'll never.

COLMES: I agree with you. But conservatives don't like that.

KEMP: Alan, people need to know, I grew up in California in the '40s, '50s, and early '60s. We had a Prosaro (ph) program, and the Prosaro (ph) guest worker program, and it kept illegal immigration to a minimum.

So if you want to stop illegal immigration, you've got to control the border and have some form of a guest worker program. And I think conservatives will understand this as time goes on.

COLMES: I agree with you. But they've been very critical of him on the issue of a guest worker program, which was part of his speech today, which does not fall into the conservative catechism.

KEMP: He talked about a flat or fair tax. He talked about tax reform, a stronger dollar from better investment climate. He talked about immigration reform. It was a conservative speech vertically, but it had a lot of progressive reform ideas that I think are very important for the Republican Party who's searching for a message right now. We've lost three straight elections.

COLMES: When -- when he says -- when he said, Mr. Secretary, the U.S. is experienced -- I'm calling you Mr. Secretary in honor of your service as a cabinet member.

He said the U.S. experienced several years of robust economic growth, and Americans again have confidence in their economic future. Isn't he a little bit out of touch with what's going on economically right now? Is consumer confidence really up in the United States at this moment?

MCCAIN: On the contrary. He was putting in juxtaposition his views that lower tax rates on both labor and capital, making permanent the Bush tax rates on capital gains and dividends, making sure the death tax does not go back to 55, which was where Obama wants to put it. He wants to keep the income tax rates at a flat and fair level.

These are things that will not only strengthen the dollar, Alan; it will lead to a strong economic growth without inflation.

COLMES: He said Americans have confidence. Right now the biggest issue in almost every election exit poll has been lack of confidence in the economy.

KEMP: Yes. That's why we need his leadership. I think he's separating himself from President Bush by suggesting he would take tax reform to another level, which is to take the Paul Ryan bill, which is a choice between the current tax code, which is an abomination, and give people a choice of a flat or fair two-rate system.

COLMES: Well, he ought to know that people are not that confident. Anyway...

KEMP: Well, they're not right now, but they would be if McCain gets elected president.

COLMES: We thank you very much for being with us, Mr. Secretary. Thanks for being with us.

KEMP: Thank you, Alan.

Thank you, Sean.


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