Thursday, December 20, 2007

Transcript of Fred Thompson on Hannity and Colmes

Here is some of the transcript of Fred Thompson on Hannity and Colmes, from Tuesday.

  • This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," December 18, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

    SEAN HANNITY, "HANNITY & COLMES" CO-HOST: We're only 16 days away from the Iowa caucuses, and the race remains too close to call for both parties. Joining us tonight from the campaign trail — he joins us in Waterloo, Iowa — is presidential candidate Fred Thompson.

    Senator, I've got to go back to the last debate, because I haven't had a chance to show this. This to me is your finest moment. Let's roll the tape.

  • FRED THOMPSON, GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm not doing hand shows today.

    UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No hand shows. And so, does that mean — is that yes or no for you? Do you believe that global climate change is a serious threat and caused by human activity?

    THOMPSON: Do you want to give me a minute to answer it?


    THOMPSON: Well, then I'm not going to answer it.


    HANNITY: Senator, I love it. Tell us what was happening there.

I too love it. It shows true grit and leadership.
  • THOMPSON: You know, 30 seconds is entirely too long or a minute is out of the question, you know, to answer an important question. So now they want a series of hand shows, and there ought to be a few things that's beneath the dignity of even presidential candidates, and I drew the line. It's that simple.
Ya know what? That handraising business and this answer combined with other answers Fred Thompson has given about why he didn't want to play the game has gotten me thinking. Fred's a thinking man. In a mocking of Martha Stewart "And that's a good thing." this country needs someone who can stop and think and give a detailed explanation.

Aln Colmes asked him about his thoughts on the NIE report that now says Iran isn't planning on making nuclear weapons.
  • THOMPSON: Well, that's one of the questions we don't know, the last one that you just asked. There's no question in my mind that the world is warming. There's no question that humans are making some contribution to that. But there's a lot of answers that we don't have yet, Alan, that we need to get. We need to know whether or not this is a part of a phase or whether or not it's permanent, as best we can tell.

    We've had cooling periods in our country — or in our world before. We don't know the extent to which this is man made. We don't know the effects of it. The estimates of the results of all of this are all over the map. And I object to those people who say the books are closed, no more questions can be asked, we've got to now adopt the solutions that we're putting forth. We're not there yet.

    COLMES: You answered the question in less than a minute, so it could have happened a few days ago. Let me move on to some other things here, because when the Iran NIE report came out, you said they're undoubtedly intent upon nuclear weapons. You said, I don't care what the latest NIE says, that's foolishness, you said, that represents our inability to get a handle on it, more than anything else.

    If you're president, are you not going to care what 16 different intelligence agencies say on any particular issue?

    THOMPSON: I'm going to concentrate on improving our intelligence capabilities. As you probably know, I served on the Intelligence Committee. I have met with foreign leaders. And I've met with CIA officers in far away places dealing with questions such as this. We have a real problem with our intelligence community. It's created confusion and inconsistency. We now have a report dealing with one of the most important issues facing our country that's totally inconsistent with one that came out just two years ago.

    The Israelis don't believe it. The British don't believe it. They have pretty good intelligence agencies. And we're concentrating on the wrong thing in this report. Whether or not Iran today has a weaponization program is not the important point. The important point is they continue to enrich uranium. That's the most difficult part of the process. Once they have enriched uranium, and it's enriched sufficiently, the weaponization will take a short period of time, and I don't trust the Iranians to make the right decision in the future.

    COLMES: The reports show though that they're not nearly as far along as some people thought, and the rhetoric coming out of the administration, which was very close to war mongering, from my point of view, seemed to be discounted by what this report actually said.

    THOMPSON: Well, you're not paying close enough attention to what I just said, Alan. To start with, we don't know how far along they are. None of our estimates have ever been precise. None of them have ever pretended to be precise. But the point is that everybody agrees they continue to enrich uranium. And in the future, with a turn of a screw, they could turn it into a weapons program. And it depends on their intent in the future.

    That means that we need to continue the policies that we have, of being tough on them and making sure our allies join us in the appropriate kinds of sanctions.

  • COLMES: You're running on small government. One of your other big issues, protection of the border from illegals and illegal immigration. Do you believe that if you become president — you're following another Republican administration — have they done the right thing about the border? And have they really been proponents of small government, given their policies and the increasing deficit and debt?

    Will you follow their lead on those issues?

    THOMPSON: No, no. We've not done enough in terms of border security. I respectfully disagreed with the president's bill when he put it forth. Call it what you want to; it was putting some illegal folks here ahead of the line, in front of some people who had played by the rules and waited a long time to become good American citizens. So I didn't support that. And on the big government side, the president hasn't done enough to veto these spending bills and these pork barrel projects that we've seen.

    He's done better than the Democrats would have him do. But he hasn't done enough. I think he's done much, much better recently, but we're facing a tsunami of spending that's going to burden our children and grandchildren for generations to come, unless we turn our spending habits around, unless we make some basic reforms, including in our entitlement program.

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