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Mary Matalin on McClellan's Book

Hannity & Colmes


KARL ROVE, FORMER BUSH ADVISER: It's a little irresponsible as he -- if this is accurate depiction of what's in the book. He says that following a meeting Scooter and I visited in 2005. Well, Scooter and I visited all the time. I don't really know what the particular meeting in question was about. I know what it wasn't about, which was it was not about Plame and Wilson.

Both of our attorneys told us not to talk to anybody else in the White House about anything connected with that, and so we didn't.


COLMES: That was former Bush adviser Karl Rove last night on this program reacting to Scott McClellan's allegations.

With us now for reaction, White House insider, former Bush adviser and Cheney adviser, Mary Matalin.

Mary, welcome back to our show.

MARY MATALIN, FORMER BUSH ADVISER: Thank you, Alan. I'm happy to be there. And can I just pick up that point? Karl's exactly right. Scooter Libby held the counter job for the vice president that Karl had for the president.


MATALIN: They met multiple times throughout every day.

COLMES: Right.

MATALIN: And oftentimes alone, and they were personal friends, they were private friends. They went hunting together. That's the silliest of the...


MATALIN: ... lies and accusation that's fabricated from the book.

COLMES: Well, the real issue is, did they -- did they get together at some point and decide, well, here's what we're going to get our stories together. We're going to be, you know, be united in terms of what we tell the rest of the world, what let Scott know, what we don't tell Scott, so Scott could have plausible deniability since he's got to face the press every day?

MATALIN: Alan, I know you'd like this to be different, but it was true then, it's true today. They were not the leakers. Millions of taxpayer dollars have been wasted. There's been a travesty of justice. There's been a tragedy of a career that Scooter Libby is not in government service today.

It's a tragedy, and neither of those guys leaked. There's no other way to prove this. The only person that's been called a liar through this entire investigation -- the investigative process has been Valerie Plame. You could wish it would be other and you could...

COLMES: Called a liar by whom?

MATALIN: ... buy into this fabulation -- by the Senate intelligence committees who did their own separate investigations. That's positively true. Know your history. I'll also tell you some more history. It didn't get in the first segment.

COLMES: The -- well, let me...

MATALIN: Excuse me, Alan. Scott McClellan did not leave the White House. He was asked to leave because upon the ascension of Josh Bolten to chief of staff, he took that job with the president under the condition that he could rearrange the president's staff that would make it a better articulator and communicator, expresser and execution and be -- do better execution on the president's agenda, and the first guy to go...

COLMES: Let me...

MATALIN: ... that -- Josh has to go with Scott...


MATALIN: And he brought in Tony "The Rock Star" Snow.

COLMES: If I could ask a question, now, I'm curious to know, since you were there. You're saying Scott McClellan was asked to leave. You're saying he was basically fired. Specifically why? What did he do wrong? Did he not do a good job? Was he asked -- was he fired for incompetence? Why -- why did Scott leave the White House?

MATALIN: Well, let me augment what my colleagues have been straining themselves all day long to say and continue to protect Scott. They never shared those thoughts. Let me say he never shared any thought. I can't remember one meeting walking away saying well, that was a contribution. I can remember meetings where Scooter Libby made 12 great contributions in the meeting or Karl had a great idea, or Dan Bartlett, or Karen Hughes.

I -- Scott shared no thoughts. So when Josh came in, he said, look, we've got to get somebody here who can articulate, communicate, who can help us think, and you remember when Tony Snow came in, he said, I want a seat at the policy table. And that Josh and the president agreed to that.

Scott was not a player, did not make any contributions, and yes, he was asked politely, and I guess, the favor is not being returned, and civilly, to take the honor of his service...

HANNITY: You know...

MATALIN: ... and to move on.

HANNITY: Hey, Mary, welcome back. Always good to see you.

You know one of the things -- whenever a situation like this arises, and I brought this up with Karl last night, I just think internally, if you were thinking all these thoughts at the time, why didn't you stand on your principles then? Why did it take money? Why did it take a book deal?

And it's -- as I read through the different excerpts here, because nobody's read the book, you know, I'm thinking...


HANNITY: ... this is a betrayal on a pretty high level for him, and he had all the opportunities to get out. How do you analyze this? Do you see it as a betrayal?

MATALIN: I'm not -- I don't care, like Newt, I don't really care to analyze this kind of betrayal. I don't want to think there's people like that. All I know is that all of us...


MATALIN: ... who were so honored to work for this president and this president's daddy and know his mother and his wife and his family and his sister and his brothers, it's not even that -- something you could call a betrayal as to...

HANNITY: All right.

MATALIN: ... quote my husband recently, this is Judas on steroids. There's just nothing really like this, and he was either living a lie for decades or he's now spewing lies to make a living.

In any event, at some point he has to tell his nieces and his nephews and his kids, what did daddy do? Well, I was a liar. I'm a liar for a living and it's -- in many ways it's just really sad.

HANNITY: Yes, and -- well, I would agree with that. All right, let me ask you a question I was asking Newt as it relates to the percentage of the time we ought to be going after Barack Obama versus, you know, Republicans and their agenda and Tom Coburn's analysis that Republicans are in denial and are paralyzed.

MATALIN: Well, they're either in denial or they -- this is not hard, this is not -- all we have to do is refer to the document that's been the guiding light, not just of the party, and the basis of its ascension, but this country, and that's the constitution, and become -- and go back to being the federalists that gave us -- now, again, not just this country, but our growth in the first place.


MATALIN: That is easy. Limited government, low taxation, more freedom, market-based solutions to these problems.

HANNITY: But do you hear -- do you hear enough of this out of the Republicans?

MATALIN: I don't, and that's why you and I have been having this conversation for some years now, which is sad to say.


MATALIN: We are conservatives first.

HANNITY: Correct.

MATALIN: And the notion that there's a -- you have to have a conservative base on which to add people who think government is the answer, so we can conservatives can say no, people are the answer.

HANNITY: Good point, Mary Matalin. Always good to see you. Thanks for being with us.

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