Interview with the McCains

Interview with the McCains

Hannity & Colmes - October 28, 2008

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: This is a "FOX News Alert." Earlier today Sean caught up with Senator McCain and Cindy McCain on the campaign trail in Hershey, Pennsylvania.


SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Are you both ready for this to be over?

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's the most exciting time. And by the way, thanks for braving a lot of bad weather to come to.

HANNITY: Thank you.

MCCAIN: . interview us here in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

HANNITY: I wouldn't this opportunity.

MCCAIN: Thanks.

HANNITY: But, look, the crowds are out here, you had a full house, and obviously, people are very excited.

MCCAIN: They're very excited.

HANNITY: But, one week from today, do you think, all right, here it comes. Are you glad that day is finally here?

MCCAIN: It reminds me very much of the -- of the early primaries, in New Hampshire, Florida, and other places, where we were running behind, and we sensed this momentum building.

And that isn't just my impressions, that's what our pollsters are showing, and that's what even some of the pundits are saying. Now a lot of them have declared it over as you know, but some of them are saying that.

HANNITY: There's actually some media study that shows that you have had extreme media bias in this, and we'll get to that in a minute.

Mrs. McCain, you said he's always calm, I'm always a wreck. So it's a little tougher on you in these final hours?

CINDY MCCAIN, SEN. JOHN MCCAIN'S WIFE: I am. You know, it's so fun because, you know, we worked so hard, and he, particularly, has just done such a marvelous job to really see this get close, the -- you know possibility of winning this whole thing, and just our family so proud of him and just so proud of the job he's done.

MCCAIN: Well, Sean, I've campaigned in a lot of campaigns for various presidential candidates. The level of this excitement I have not seen matched. Now how that translates into votes and victory, I can't totally predict, but I can tell you the excitement level, like we just saw in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

I mean this is -- this is -- this place was rocking, not only from me, by the way, Sarah Palin was here. She is. She has ignited something really incredible in American politics in my view.

HANNITY: Well, I've been on the road with her, even this past weekend, and she had huge crowds, and a lot of enthusiasm, obviously.

Look, clearly, there's been a tightening in the polls. Zogby's poll was tight. The "Investors Business Daily" is tight, AP is tight, the "Battleground" is tight, but it seems that the issue has now tightened these polls, obviously, over the economy, which has been driving this campaign for a while, and the issue of redistribution of wealth.

It first came up with Joe the Plumber in an interview on "Good Morning America," and then, of course, this tape from 2001 that came out yesterday. You've used the term senator redistribution. Explain what you mean by that.

MCCAIN: Well, I mean it's very obvious from a long record of being in the far left-hand lane of American politics. That's why he was -- he has a clear record of being the most liberal senator in the United States Senate.

We've seen that act before. We saw it with all due respect with George McGovern, Jimmy Carter and others in the liberal left. They think that the solution to America's problems is to take money from one group of Americans and give it to another.

Now that has been proven to be a very bad idea in America, but also in other countries. So it's an idea that you can somehow help everybody's lives by taking the money from those who have, through hard work, through spending all their lives in building up some wealth so they can give to their kids, but more importantly create jobs.

When people in America like Joe the Plumber are able to buy his boss' business, he creates jobs and shares wealth and expands wealth that way rather.

HANNITY: It's amazing.

MCCAIN: . than saying you can't have this money, I've got to give it to somebody else.

HANNITY: It is amazing how Joe the Plumber -- you know everywhere I go and I saw signs here today, I'm Sally the homemaker, I'm somebody the bartender, and I -- I hold up signs whenever I go, I'm Sean, the wild mouth talk show host.

MCCAIN: You know it's amazing. This Joe the Plumber event has really been a catalyst. It really has. You know we look back on political campaigns. "I paid for this microphone, Mr. Breen." Ed Muskie crying outside the Union Leader, or whatever it was, you know?

There are moments when something happened, and clearly Senator Obama going to Joe the Plumber's drive way, and him getting an answer that clearly he didn't like, and, by the way, the way that they attacked him, please.

HANNITY: They've gone after him pretty hard. They've mocked him on the campaign trail. There's been, apparently, issues of investigating his background.


HANNITY: And I thought Governor Palin had it bad at one point when they sent a mini army up to Alaska to investigate her. Well, here's.

MCCAIN: And of course, if anybody in the media, much less Joe the Plumber asks a tough question, then they're boycotted. They.


MCCAIN: . (INAUDIBLE) their ads, et cetera.

HANNITY: I want to get to that because.


HANNITY: Senator Obama said it's a tragedy, quote, "that redistribution of wealth wasn't pursued by the Supreme Court." And.

MCCAIN: That's what scary. You know? A lot of people believe that there's going to be three vacancies on the United States Supreme Court, and some of the thoughts and writings and statements by Senator Obama about how it's the job of the -- of the judiciary to be, quote, "redistributed?"

What, I think -- let's fast-forward up to just a short time ago. Senator Obama opposed Justices Roberts and Alito, and he said on ideological grounds.

And, Sean, true confessions. I voted for Justices Brier and Ginsburg, not because I agreed with their philosophy, but because they were qualified to serve.

HANNITY: Even though you had.

MCCAIN: Even though I had strong disagreements with their ideology. Now Senator Obama wanted to filibuster the -- Roberts and Alito and oppose them because we -- because of their, quote, "conservative views."

Look, are they qualified? Of course Roberts and Alito are. And so I think, frankly, this is really revealing to Americans who understand the importance of Supreme Court justices.

HANNITY: It's obviously a big issue in the campaign, and there may be two or, as you point out, as many as three vacancies on the court.

I want -- let me ask you a couple of simple questions about this redistribution of wealth for Senator Redistribution. Is it socialism?

MCCAIN: Certainly it's part of the socialist creed -- I mean, philosophy. It's to share the wealth. Now, if Senator Obama's a, quote, "socialist" or not is something that I'll let those theoreticians decide.

But the fact is that it's a far left liberal view that you need to take money from one group of Americans and give it to another, to take people who have built up through their labor and their hard work and their dedication to the free enterprise system and take it away from them.

Now, of course, we have an obligation to take care of citizens in our society who can't care for themselves. That's why we have those programs, those safety net programs. But you know, the safety net programs, a lot of Americans pay into Social Security, they pay into a number of those programs, so the point is yes, a society and government takes care of citizens who need our help.

That's what America's all about. But nobody that I know of who framed our constitution had any thoughts that we would take money from one group of Americans and give it to another.

HANNITY: Well, I want to examine this in a little bit more detail. I have a lot of questions for you, Mrs. McCain, too, today. But you know, 40 percent of Americans -- for example, the bottom 50 percent of wage earners.

MCCAIN: Pay no taxes.

HANNITY: Well, 40 percent pay no taxes, the bottom 50 percent pay 2.9 percent. The top 10 percent pay 70 percent. Those are the IRS numbers, most recent numbers. We almost have redistribution already.

But under the Obama plan, as I understand it, the 40 percent that pay no taxes are going to get a check.

MCCAIN: Yes. Just get a check. Just -- the government's going to give them some money.

HANNITY: Is that welfare?

MCCAIN: Where does the money come from? It comes from a printing press, but eventually it comes from.

HANNITY: From people.

MCCAIN: And future generations of Americans. We've already run up a $10 trillion debt.

Look, this is -- this is just remarkable, and remember it was $250,000, then quietly his campaign came out and said, well, now it's $200,000, and then somebody figured it out in the "Wall Street Journal" and it's $140,000, then we go back into history, and Senator Obama has voted to raise taxes on individuals making $42,000.

HANNITY: That was last year.

MCCAIN: Yes. And then Barney Frank says we're going to find a lot of rich people out there to tax, and he's going to -- they said they're going to cut defense and raise taxes. What? That's -- we got a sneak preview.


HANNITY: And coming up more of my sit-down interview with John and Cindy McCain.

Now it seems that the senator is more than OK that he and Governor Palin do not always agree. In fact, he thinks it's a good thing. Find out why after the break.

And still to come, Newt Gingrich with reaction to the interview and his take on the last seven days of this all-important election. Straight ahead.

ANNOUNCER: HANNITY & COLMES is brought to you by.


HANNITY: And we continue now with more of my interview with presidential hopeful Senator John McCain and his wife, Cindy.


HANNITY: You called yourself a foot soldier in the Reagan revolution.

MCCAIN: Yes, sir.

HANNITY: All right. When President Reagan took office we had pretty tough economic times.

MCCAIN: Terrible.

HANNITY: The country had just lost 8 million new jobs. Inflation was 12.5 percent. Interest rates, if you remember, was 21.5 percent. He dropped the top marginal rates.

MCCAIN: By the way, I think unemployment was 10 percent also.

HANNITY: It was double digits. Yes. He dropped the top marginal rates from 70 to 28 percent. Some liberals said that we'd have a depression. In eight years revenues to the government doubled, 20 million new jobs were created, and it was described as the longest period of peacetime economic growth in history.

MCCAIN: And let me back up just a little bit for you.


MCCAIN: Jack Kennedy came to office and said cut the capital gains tax, they did, and revenues increased. Now Senator Obama talking to Charlie Gibson, Charlie Gibson said why would you want to raise capital gains taxes? There's 100 million people involved in that.

And he said because of fairness. Even though, as Charlie Gibson pointed out to him, revenues decreased. He still wants to be, quote, "be," quote, "fair." That's redistribution of the wealth.

HANNITY: Well, explain, if we can't -- why is it that it would be a bad thing? Maybe you can explain to people that think, well, wait a minute, maybe the rich aren't paying enough, and if I'm going to benefit why would that be bad for the economy?

MCCAIN: History shows us if you raise taxes in a bad economy, you hurt the economy, and there was a president named Herbert Hoover, a Republican, they raised taxes, they practiced protectionism, and we went from a serious recession into a deep depression.

Now that's a matter of history. The worst time to raise anybody's taxes on anything is when we are in an economic crisis.

And finally, when people accumulate wealth, like Joe the Plumber, then they hire other people, and then other people are able to move up the economic ladder.

HANNITY: They pay taxes, they buy homes.

MCCAIN: And that's a -- that's a fundamental principle of the free enterprise system that we celebrate every day in America, thank god, 300,000 jobs have been created by small businesses while we lost over 700,000.

HANNITY: Mrs. McCain, by the way, it's good to see you.

C. MCCAIN: Thank you.

HANNITY: You feel, and you were quoted as saying, you feel you're going to win? You feel the enthusiasm. You've not been happy with some of the ads that have come out against your husband. You're pretty defensive of him. Explain why.

C. MCCAIN: Well, I -- you know, I think many of the ads have misrepresented my husband and misrepresented him in a personal way, too. We have serious differences in these -- between these two candidates, and there's -- there's a very clear choice for the American people.

And it's just important for us now to get -- make sure that we get our message out and make sure that people understand what's the truth.

HANNITY: Well, you -- you know, when it comes to the war, for example, your son was fighting in Iraq. Governor Palin's son is fighting in Iraq. We know your husband's record.

You know, you said -- you talked -- he's lived every day of his life by his code of conduct, duty, honor, country, that is something that our opponent cannot say that he has done.

C. MCCAIN: Well, what I meant by that was is that my husband has lived -- he truly has lived his life by the code of conduct. He has always put his country first in every measure of everything he's ever done.

That was not a criticism of Senator Obama by any stretch. It was just a matter of me talking about the truth and what I believe is the truth of my husband and his conduct, and how he's led his life, and that's also what he's instilled in our children, not only our sons, but our entire family.

If, you know -- they're both good men. I -- there was not anything meant.

HANNITY: Because you've been attacked even personally. The "New York Times" apparently are not big fans of the McCains, but one story that I found the most compelling about you is the story of your adoption, and you didn't tell Senator McCain until you came home.

Why don't you tell us that story? That's a personal side.

C. MCCAIN: Well, I was -- at that time I was working in Bangladesh with my medical team, and I -- was working -- part of what we are doing was work in Mother Theresa's orphanage. I stumbled upon these two little babies, and one of them had a severe clef pallet and another one had a little heart condition.

And Mother Teresa is there. Her nuns are very persuasive, and they said, you know, you can get them out, and I was able to get them out and really literally on board the aircraft home, I realized I -- she had picked me, I couldn't give her up.

But I didn't have time to call my husband and tell him.

HANNITY: So you get off the plane.

C. MCCAIN: I stepped off the plane in Phoenix and introduced him to his new daughter. That is the true story.

MCCAIN: And she's now 17 and she's doing wonderful.

HANNITY: All right, Governor Palin -- I'll ask you both this question. She had -- the mini army went up to Alaska to try and dig up dirt on Governor Palin. She's been -- her family, her children have been attacked, more recently, her clothes.

I think the media spent more time attacking her children and her clothes than they did investigating an issue I've been concerned about, the relationship with Bill Ayers.

What is that -- what do you think of that?

C. MCCAIN: I think it's all nonsense. My gosh, we have -- we have very important issues facing this country, and they're -- this is the kind of stuff the media is focusing on? What about our troops? What about the economy? What about their vision for the country?

That's what we should be talking about.


C. MCCAIN: I think the whole thing is nonsense.

HANNITY: If it were up to me, I don't pay for my clothes, FOX does, so but.

MCCAIN: Can I just mention one other thing? You know there's now this going around that there's differences between myself and Sarah Palin. We're very close. We're both mavericks.

There are a couple of things we disagree on. In fact, you are on her side on one of them.

HANNITY: On energy independence. Yes.

MCCAIN: On one of them. But look, did you expect two mavericks to not -- to agree on every single thing? I'm so proud of her. Listen, she - - she and I share the same principles, the same values, the same vision for America, and I couldn't be more proud of her and the job she's done.


COLMES: Coming up, has the media been fair to the McCains? That next in Sean's sit-down with John and Cindy McCain.

And former speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, will be here to react to the interview, offer his analysis on the final week of this election, coming up.


COLMES: We now continue with Sean's interview, the conclusion of the interview with John and Cindy McCain.


HANNITY: Let me ask about the negativity in terms of the media. There was a recent study that came out . 57 percent of print and broadcast were negative against you. When it comes to Senator.

C. MCCAIN: Only 57 percent? There was more than that.

HANNITY: Well, this was this study. But Senator Obama had -- more positive, obviously, than negative.

You -- I watched "The View," I saw Senator Obama on "The View," I saw Michelle Obama on "The View," and then I saw you guys on "The View." What is -- is that been.

MCCAIN: You just.

HANNITY: . the way it is?

MCCAIN: You play the hand you're dealt, and the fact is you rely on the good sense of the American people. As we pound into this last week, Americans are starting to focus. That's why it's swinging -- that's why it's swinging our way, Sean.

As -- you know you rely on them, and frankly to complain about the media just wouldn't be.

HANNITY: I would have liked if "The View" asked the question of Michelle Obama, why did you say America is a downright mean country in 2008? I think that question would have been asked of you considering how hard they were on you.


MCCAIN: It was quite an experience. You know Elisabeth.

HANNITY: I've been in there, when Rosie was there, so it's was a little tough.

MCCAIN: Elisabeth Hasselbeck, you know, who was with the.


MCCAIN: . with Sarah.

HANNITY: We interviewed her last night.

MCCAIN: When she -- isn't she marvelous?

HANNITY: I worked with her friends.

MCCAIN: And a great (INAUDIBLE).

HANNITY: She did a great job.

MCCAIN: She's a (INAUDIBLE) person.

HANNITY: She -- I thought Alan was tough. She's got it really very tough. She's got -- you know Joy recently called me dangerous. So you know, I get a little heat, too.

I'd be negligent if I wouldn't talk about Senator Biden's comments that Senator Obama would be tested in the first six months, that there will be, mark my words, an international crisis.

Now -- there's been a lot of issues involving national security. I don't know if you heard this, but French President Sarkozy today used the term talking about Senator Obama's plan on Iran is basically naive and utterly immature was the phrase he used.

That's meeting with rouge dictators, Iran's a tiny country, not a serious threat. Putting all that together, should America be concerned about his ability to be commander in chief?

MCCAIN: I think they should be concerned, and I think they should -- and they'll make a decision, but the point is that he's been wrong, he was wrong about the surge, still won't admit that he was wrong.

He's wrong about when he said that Iran is a tiny threat, he was wrong when he said that Georgia should exercise restraint.

But the point is that Senator Obama has no experience and no background to make the judgments, and I wish that every American could hear the tape of what -- the way that Senator Biden said that. He said mark my words.

HANNITY: I've had to play it.

MCCAIN: There'll be an international crisis.

Sean, we -- because he's untested, and he will have to be tested. The one thing about these people that we're up against, I've been tested, and they know it.

HANNITY: Does that telegraph to the world -- I mean during the debates, the issues that he voted to cut off funding for the troops during the war, that he.

MCCAIN: After pledging that he wouldn't.

HANNITY: He accused the troops of air-raiding villages and killing civilians.


HANNITY: He said he'd pull out, I'll end this war in 2009. He's since adjusted that. What does that mean? Does that mean we lose the war?

MCCAIN: Well, when Harry Reid announced that he agreed with him, and there's no doubt that if we would done what Senator Obama wanted to do, we'd have come home. Our troops would have come home, there would have been more sectarian violence in al Qaeda beachhead, greater Iranian influence in the region, and we'd probably have to have gone back and -- with further sacrifice.

But I think the other point here is that Senator Obama just -- I mean -- when I hear him say some of these things, for example, about Colombia, that the reason why he was against a free trade agreement with our best friend in the whole hemisphere is because that labor leaders are being killed? That's an old saw that the union leaders drag out years ago.

There has been dramatic improvement in Colombia. Colombia is helping us fight this struggle against -- the president of Colombia rescued three Americans who were being held captive by the FARC that are working with the people he would sit down with, Hugo Chavez.

But, so, it's just -- he does not have the experience to make the right judgment.

HANNITY: Last question. Senator Obama seems to be preparing his victory speech, he's saying, you know, the righteous win is at our back, $2 million party in Grand Park. We've got all the ACORN controversy.

Do you think he's coasting to victory? Is he picking out the drapes a little early?

MCCAIN: I think that more than one candidate has read the polls at the time and not the trends, and I guarantee you one thing. We'll be up late on election night, and I guarantee you with rallies like these that going on in the next seven days, we're going to win this election.

HANNITY: Are you worried about the ACORN controversy? Voter fraud?

MCCAIN: Sure, I am. Sure, I am. Sure, I'm worried about these controversies and I'm particularly worried in Ohio.

HANNITY: Yes. You're worried more than him, according to you.

C. MCCAIN: I always worry. That's my job. But if I -- if I could say something, if I may. I mentioned when I introduced my husband that he took some serious foes and some serious stands when our son was serving over there.

I was just like every other mother. I was worried for my son, but I've never been prouder of my husband than when he took those difficult stands with our son there, and I supported him wholeheartedly. It was just really I -- it was an unusual feeling for me because I was torn in both directions, and I'm so proud of what he did.

HANNITY: Well, the surge strategy was proven right.

C. MCCAIN: It worked. The surge worked.

HANNITY: But I just disagree with McCain-Feingold.

MCCAIN: I know.

HANNITY: It seems we've had a lot of argument over the years.

MCCAIN: Look, in the.

HANNITY: And McCain.

MCCAIN: When I'm in the White House, you're coming in there. We're going to continue that debate.

HANNITY: All right.

MCCAIN: I'll even let.

HANNITY: I'm a maverick, too, you know.

MCCAIN: I'll even let your teammate in with you, old Alan. Tell Alan he'll come in, too.

HANNITY: He gets to come in, too?

MCCAIN: Absolutely.

HANNITY: Senator, good to see you. Best of luck in the next week.

C. MCCAIN: Thank you, Sean.

HANNITY: Thank you. Good to see you.

C. MCCAIN: Thank you.

Hannity & Colmes


Follow Real Clear Politics

Latest On Twitter