Jack Kemp & James Dobson on Palin

Jack Kemp & James Dobson on Palin

Hannity & Colmes - August 29, 2008

HANNITY: And here to react to Senator McCain's pick for VP is former candidate VP choice himself Jack Kemp is with us.

Jack, welcome to HANNITY & COLMES.

JACK KEMP, FORMER VP NOMINEE: Hello, Sean. How are you?

HANNITY: I'm terrific. I've got to tell you something. I just gave a speech, you know, 2,000 people, the reaction was tremendous. And I've got to tell you on a personal note, I had some concerns, I wanted to make sure that John McCain picked a solid conservative for his VP running mate. I don't think he could have picked anybody better, and I think this is a great choice.

Tell us what you know about her.

KEMP: She's terrific. She has met every challenge in her whole life. She has risen through the ranks. She's been a business woman. She's got a blue-collar labor background. She's an outstanding governor. She understands developing our energy resources. She understands taxes and trade.

She's going to be a great candidate for John McCain so I'm thrilled.

HANNITY: Yes. You know, one of the things -- like Senator McCain, for example, last night, Jack -- you know, I thought he was very gracious in his statement congratulating Barack Obama.

KEMP: I did, too.

HANNITY: This is a big historic night for you, and yet immediately, it wasn't, you know, five minutes after the announcement, right away the McCain -- the Obama campaign goes out there on the attack, and I found it quite ironic that the community organizer that thinks Iran is a tiny country, that is not a serious threat, that would invade Pakistan, that has zero foreign policy experience, is going to now lecture John McCain on his VP choice about experience.

That was humorous to me.

KEMP: Well, look it. Obama -- Senator Obama did call Governor Palin, which was a nice thing to do and I think that type.

HANNITY: Later in the day.

KEMP: Yes, later in the day, but clearly this is a woman who is an outstanding governor. She's had executive experience. She's very bright, and she will be a very quick study on every issue facing this country and, of course, the free world.

So I am very confident that John McCain has spent a lot of time with her, Sean, is doing the right thing after a lot of diligence and a lot of discussions with her about the world, and certainly about our domestic economy.

HANNITY: Well, I've got to tell you something, though. I've talked to a lot of people, including the 2,000 or so people that we had in Colorado Springs tonight that I spoke to, and I've got to tell you, everybody's impressed that she stood on her position on the issue of abortion, knowing she would have a special needs child, that she took on her own party on issues of reform when she felt there was corruption.

KEMP: Absolutely.

HANNITY: . when she even said no to a private jet herself.

I thought that was pretty impressive. You know something -- I think we've got a candidate here that is the future of the party, and she looked great, she handled her -- this announce today with great dignity and grace.

KEMP: And without a teleprompter, which is terrific. She even put her plane up on eBay. I thought that was quite -- a unique thing to do.

But look it, she understands the importance of the U.S. economy, domestic resources, developing our hydrocarbon deposits whether they're natural gas, clean coal, nuclear energy, ultimately, and certainly drilling for oil on the outer continental shelf. And hopefully, she can convince John to drill in the ANWR reserve.



COLMES: Jack, it's Alan. Welcome back to our show. Good to have you back with us.

KEMP: Hey, Alan.

COLMES: Look -- first of all, I want to say up front, I'm glad John McCain picked a woman. I think that that is a very good.

KEMP: It's historical.

COLMES: . move for his -- so we either have the first female vice president or the first African-American president in `09, and I think that is a good thing for America.

But let me ask you.

KEMP: Good for you.

COLMES: Who do you think is more qualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency? Sarah Palin or Joe Biden?

KEMP: Well, first of all, Joe Biden has been in the Senate for an awfully long time. He may be qualified in terms of his committee assignments. I don't think he's qualified to help end the war with dignity, with honor, and with success.

COLMES: But, that wasn't the question, Jack.

KEMP: Number two -- no, no.

COLMES: Go ahead, go ahead.

KEMP: But wait a minute, you could be qualified temporarily at this moment in time and have the wrong ideas and cause problems for us in the Caucasus Mountains where Russia is challenging Georgia. You can cause us severe problems in the Middle East.

I don't think Joe Biden is up to it, Alan

COLMES: Wait a minute, do you think Sarah Palin, who says she hasn't been following the Iraq war when asked about it, is qualified to address the issues you just brought up? What's happening in Georgia.

KEMP: Yes, and.

COLMES: . what's happening in Russia. She, by her own admissions, that she knows nothing about what's going on in Iraq.

KEMP: Well, first of all we have a candidate in John McCain who knows an awful lot about foreign policy and national security.

COLMES: We're talking about the vice presidency.

KEMP: Well, let me finish my point, Alan.


KEMP: He knows a lot. He's been spending a lot of time with her. She has met every challenge in her life. She's a smart, intelligent, capable, able, tough woman, and I am convinced that she is going to make a great candidate, and she will be up to speed necessary.


KEMP: But John McCain clearly.


KEMP: ... is going to lead the foreign policy.

COLMES: Everything you said is true about her being capable. I'm sure she's tough. I'm sure she's bright. She's smart. I'm sure she'll be a great campaigner. And again, I'm glad that it's a woman.

KEMP: Good for you.

COLMES: But I'm asking you, again, on the issue of foreign policy -- we kept, you know, hearing Barack Obama being.

HANNITY: She has more experience than Obama.

COLMES: Excuse me.

KEMP: Well.

COLMES: Excuse me. We kept hearing Barack Obama being renounced, denounced for lack of experience. She's been a governor for a year and a half. She was a mayor of a small town before that.

Barack Obama certainly has more experience than she does even though Republicans are saying the -- the reverse. You can't -- you can no longer knock Barack Obama for lack of experience with her on the ticket.

KEMP: Well, let me put it -- put it this way. Joe Biden, as you say, may have experience in terms of a committee assignment, but he'll be listening to the top of the ticket, which is Barack Obama, who has zero, nada, and plus very bad judgment.

COLMES: He had the judgment not to want to start the Iraq war.

KEMP: Sarah Palin will be listening to John McCain, and I trust John McCain and Sarah Palin.

COLMES: All right now.

KEMP: . more than I trust the top of the Obama ticket.

COLMES: Secretary Kemp, it's always a pleasure having you on the show.

Thank you very much.

KEMP: Thank you, Alan.

COLMES: . for being here tonight.

KEMP: Thank you, Sean.

COLMES: Coming up, will the conservative credentials of Alaska governor Sarah Palin give Senator McCain the boost he needs to win the White House?

Dr. James Dobson who's been vocal about not being in McCain's corner reacts to the selection and Governor Palin's conservative track record, coming up.


MCCAIN: She's not from these parts and she is not from Washington. But when you get to know her, you're going to be as impressed as I am.

She's got the grit, integrity, good sense and fierce devotion to the common good that is exactly what we need in Washington today.




PALIN: It was Senator McCain who refused to hedge his support for our troops in Iraq regardless of those political props, and you know what? As the mother of one of those troops, and as a commander of Alaska's National Guard, that's the kind of man I want as our commander in chief.


COLMES: That was Governor Sarah Palin earlier today after being announced as John McCain's VP pick. Will she silence conservatives who are concerned with McCain's very moderate history?

Our next guest is one of those people, Dr. James Dobson, who said right here on this show, on HANNITY & COLMES, he would never vote for Senator McCain, and later softened his stance and said he would consider it if he picked a conservative running mate.

Joining us now to tell us if John McCain now has his vote, founder and chairman of Focus on the Family Action, Dr. James Dobson.

Dr. Dobson, welcome to the show.

DR. JAMES DOBSON, FOCUS ON THE FAMILY ACTION: Alan, it's good to be on the program.

COLMES: So does this mean you're now going to vote based on the bottom of the ticket, but not based on the top of the ticket?

DOBSON: No, I'll vote for the ticket, I -- or at least that is what I believe and what I feel. I did say in the beginning I could not vote for John McCain. I meant it and I had some very serious concerns about his candidacy, but it's been a long campaign, and a lot of things have changed, and I have steadily moved in his direction when you look at the alternatives and what's at stake. I feel a whole lot better, especially after today.

COLMES: Dr. Dobson, you said, "I'm convinced John McCain is not a conservative."

Has John McCain changed and become a conservative? Or have you changed and accepted somebody who's not a conservative?

DOBSON: Well, a whole lot changed when I heard the debate with Barack Obama at Saddleback. I thought Senator McCain did an outstanding job. He said things that I believe, some things that I hadn't heard him say, some things that sounded like a conviction to me.

And that began moving me in his direction, and then, of course, this choice of Governor Palin. I tell you, that was one of the most exciting moments of the political season.

I was in -- I was in a conference this morning with about 300 conservatives, Alan, and they put her acceptance speech -- not acceptance, but her response to Senator McCain up on the screen, and it was CNN, and I'm telling you, I've not seen that kind of electricity in a long time.

COLMES: Right.

DOBSON: To see 300 people stand up and give a standing ovation to a screen is something that doesn't happen very often.

COLMES: You've actually, before today, opened your mind to John McCain, and now today you said you support the ticket. You also said in the past John McCain has a legendary temper and often uses foul and obscene language.

Does his temperament still concern you as someone who would be the commander in chief? Or is that something that you aren't concerned about any more?

DOBSON: Well, it does, but -- you know, I've done a lot of thinking and some prayer about this, and you always have to choose between two flawed individuals. All of us are sinful, all of us have characteristics that we really wish were not there, and that there are situations where you have to examine the choices that are there and make the best decision you can.

And I have been moving in this direction, and I feel good about it.

HANNITY: Dr. Dobson, it's Sean Hannity. By the way, it's great to be at Focus on the Family, and I'm not supposed to tell you this, but I'm actually sitting in your very special chair. It's a great honor. So thank you.

DOBSON: Isn't this ironic? I'm on your show, and you're sitting in my studio.

HANNITY: And by the way, it's a very comfortable chair, I got to tell you. I'm very impressed.

Dr. Dobson, she -- on issues that I know matter to both you and to me, she wants to define marriage as between a man and a woman. On issues involving education, the story of her being pro-life, the story that she knew that she would have a child that would have special needs, and she stayed true to her conviction, what does that mean to you as a solid Christian social conservative?

DOBSON: Well, I am very excited about what I know about her. I've not met her yet, but I did write her about two months ago. I had no idea this was coming, and so I wrote her a letter to thank her for her attitude toward that little Down's child.

They knew that little boy was coming, and that he would be mentally handicapped. They understood that, they welcomed that child into life. If that does not speak to the sanctity of life, I don't know what does.

She's strong on marriage, she's a fiscal conservative, she's a proven reformer, and she hates corruption. I mean this is a strong woman, and I'm delighted to have her on the ticket.

HANNITY: I've got to tell you something, she really wowed me and everybody that I know today, and I just gave a speech here in Colorado Springs and people were inspired.

You know, it's interesting, Alan and I know the liberal talking points are out there today talking about the governor and about her experience, and I've got to be honest.

I'll put her experience as a governor, as a reformer, as a tax cutter, as somebody who believes in fiscal responsibility, somebody who's made decisions, you know, against, you know, Barack Obama, you know, with his slogans and the hypnotic trance where he has no legislative accomplishments, a thin resume, and doesn't even view Iran as a serious threat.

I find it amazing that that's the line of attack Democrats are taking.

Your thoughts.

DOBSON: Well, I think the Democrats are going to have a real hard time making a big deal out of her experience. She has had executive experience. Barack Obama has had none. He's had about 140 working days in the Senate, and how in the world they can point to the standard bearer with as little experience as he has had, and then begin to criticize the vice presidential pick?

I don't think that's going to go anywhere.

HANNITY: I don't -- it's certainly not, especially with some of the things that Barack Obama has said, and he's their number one, and has the thinnest resume of anybody that I know that has ever run for president.

But, Dr. Dobson, I'm going to sit here comfortably in your chair. We'll come back more with Dobson -- Dr. Dobson after the break.

And then former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has been very outspoken about who he thinks Senator McCain should not pick to be his running mate. So does the governor of Alaska make the grade? We're going to ask him, coming up next, straight ahead.


PALIN: If you want change in Washington, if you hope for a better America, then we're asking for your vote on the 4th of November.

My fellow Americans.


PALIN: . come join our cause.




PALIN: I never really set out to be involved in public affairs, much less to run for this office. I was just your average hockey mom in Alaska.


PALIN: We're busy raising our kids. I was serving as the team mom and coaching some basketball on the side. I got involved in the PTA, and then was elected to the city council. And then elected mayor of my hometown where my agenda was to stop wasteful spending and cut property taxes and put the people first.



HANNITY: And that was John McCain's VP pick, Alaska governor, Sarah Palin, giving us a glimpse into her political past. The self-styled hockey mom brings her staunch pro-life stance to the McCain campaign.

We continue now Dr. James Dobson.

All right, we talked about the family issues. I want to address directly this charge that she's not experienced, but somehow Barack Obama is. Barack Obama, who said we'd never -- he'd never use nuclear weapons under any circumstances, that Iran is not a serious threat.

He actually said, Dr. Dobson, he would cut tens of billions of dollars in defense spending, cut our investment in missile defense and future combat systems. That's Barack Obama's positions.

Joe Biden even said the presidency doesn't lend itself to on-the-job training. Hillary acknowledged John McCain's ready to be commander in chief, but not Barack Obama.

Do you think this line of attack will work by Alan and his Democratic liberal friends?

DOBSON: I think it's going to be a tough case to the American people. It's going to be a -- you know, a hard-fought campaign and a battle, but I think the decision that was made today is going to appeal to women, and, by the way, by the way, I am delighted to see a woman on the ticket.

HANNITY: Me, too.

DOBSON: You know, I have said for years -- I would gladly vote for a woman if it were the right woman, with the right beliefs, and the right experience. She is that person.


DOBSON: And so I'm just really glad to see her there, and I think it's going to resonate with the American people.

HANNITY: You know, even Democrats -- FOX News contributors, I know, that Howard Wolfson who was running Hillary Clinton's campaign -- he made the statement that he had argued that if John McCain, in fact, would reestablish his position as a maverick, if he picks Sarah Palin, that, in fact, that he's going to have a lot of women wondering why, in fact, Barack Obama didn't pick Hillary Clinton? And same comments, similar comments by Geraldine Ferraro.

Do you think that Hillary Clinton supporters will come over now to the McCain camp?

DOBSON: You know presidential campaigns are won or lost by usually four or five, six, seven percentage points. It's not a big margin, so they don't have to gather or garner the votes of an awful lot of the Hillary Clinton crowd.

I mean if they just get, say, 3 or 4 percent that vote for this ticket versus the other one, that could make a big difference.

COLMES: Dr. Dobson, if you're a woman who wants justices who are going to preserve the right to chose, who are pro-choice -- I know that's not your position -- are they going to vote for a woman who doesn't even want to allow abortion in the case of rape or incest?

If you want equal rights for gays, are you going to vote for a woman who -- did not only want a constitutional amendment against gay marriage, but doesn't even want domestic partnerships as part of the law?

I can't imagine that kind of switch being made, and for those people who agree with those issues -- you're right, it's got to be the right woman with the right points of view.

DOBSON: Well, Alan, as I just said, they don't have to get them all, and many of them will not vote for her, and for Senator McCain. But I think enough of them will to make it highly competitive, and maybe to put them in the White House.

COLMES: All right. Dr. Dobson, you have a guy who does digital stuff for you online, Stewart Shepard, who put out a very funny kind of tongue-in- cheek.


COLMES: . desire, beseeching God to make it rain during the Democratic National Convention. Have a torrential downpour is, I think, was the phrase he used.

Isn't ironic that there's a forecast for possible tornado activity during the Republican National Committee? Doesn't that prove that be careful what you ask for, you might get it, and God works in his own way and mysterious ways?

DOBSON: Alan, I thought you'd make something out of that. That was tongue-and-cheek. That was funny. I thought it was funny.

COLMES: I did, too.

DOBSON: Some people don't have a sense of humor.

COLMES: I thought it was very funny.

DOBSON: And so, we took it down and even apologized. I wasn't there, so I didn't even know it. But I didn't think it was all that bad. Some people did, so in deference to them, we pulled it. But I thought it was pretty good.

COLMES: I thought it was funny, I just think it's even more ironic that the big rains are forecast for the Republican National Convention.

DOBSON: Well, it rains on the just and the injust, as you know.

COLMES: All right. All right. Dr. Dobson, thank you for being with us tonight and appreciate your time.

Hannity & Colmes


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