Hannity: Clinton had low turnover on White House staff because employees were "scared" to leave

››› ››› MATTHEW BIEDLINGMAIER

On the November 13 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, co-host Sean Hannity said: "All year long, publications like The New York Times, Washington Post, Time, and Newsweek have all reported what they call [Republican presidential candidate] Rudy Giuliani's temper. Well, the subjectiveness aside, couldn't the same questions be asked about Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton [D-NY]?" Hannity then asked Fox News contributor Kirsten Powers and Sirius Satellite Radio host Andrew Wilkow whether Clinton has "the temperament to be president." Powers responded: "I think she does. I think she has a temper, as do many politicians. And Rudy Giuliani, your favorite, has a temper, as ... do many people." Powers later asserted: "I think you've got to keep it in the context of what she does ... and who she is. And I'm just telling you -- first of all, I do have to say that while there are people who say that she has a bad temper, she had almost no turnover on her staff in the White House, so that says something." Hannity responded, " '[C]ause they were scared to probably leave," to which Powers replied, "No, I know a lot of them and they like her."

During the segment -- which featured a recurring on-screen graphic reading: "Does Hillary Have the Right Temperament to Be President?" -- Hannity asserted: "Andrew, let me throw this question to you, because I guess the question now comes out, as we see that both Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton are out there claiming that they are being unfairly treated because of her gender. We have this Swift-boating of her going on here -- and it seems like this is basically their MO. They have smeared -- they have besmirched anybody that has come out against them." Wilkow, referring to the October 30 Democratic presidential candidates debate at Drexel University, replied, "You know what the best part is, is that this all started with [Sen.] Chris Dodd [D-CT]. A lightweight like Chris Dodd managed to take her apart, and what's happening now is Bill Clinton is doing the mop-up. They're claiming it's sexism; it's piling on; it's the boys are being tough on her." Wilkow added: "This is the primaries. If you can't even handle Chris Dodd, how are you going to handle Mitt Romney or Rudy or Fred Thompson, or even worse, [Iranian President] Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?" Hannity responded: "Well, that's a good question."

The on-screen graphic shown repeatedly during the segment:

From the November 13 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes:

HANNITY: And welcome to Hannity & Colmes. We get right to our top story tonight: There are only 51 days until the Iowa caucuses, 84 days until Super Tuesday. And there are questions tonight about the Democratic front-runner.

All year long, publications like The New York Times, Washington Post, Time, and Newsweek have all reported what they call Rudy Giuliani's temper. Well, the subjectiveness aside, couldn't the same questions be asked about Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton?

Now, it sure sounds that way when you listen to former Clinton supporters. Now, this is what George Stephanopoulos and Dee Dee Myers had to say during an interview with the PBS program Frontline.

[begin audio clip]

STEPHANOPOULOS: I made this case that we had to go forward, that we had no choice anymore but to go for a special counsel. And, man, she just jumped down my throat. You know, basically yelling, "You never believed in us. You never stood for us," you know. "We were all alone in New Hampshire," and it was fierce and chilling.

MYERS: She kind of belittled him in front of everybody. And, you know, I thought -- he took it, and I couldn't believe that she really -- I didn't believe that she really believed it. And anybody that stood up and tried to say this is a bad idea was, you know, smashed down and belittled, very personally.

[end audio clip]

HANNITY: Joining us with more, Sirius radio host Andrew Wilkow and Fox News contributor Kirsten Powers. Let's see: her temper was "fierce and chilling"; "she ... jumped down my throat." The way Dee Dee Myers described it, her former longtime secretary described to Gail Sheehy, shivering, "the person on the receiving end of her temper never gets over it" -- and that's just one of 10 more examples I have. Does she have the temperament to be president?

POWERS: Yeah, I think she does. I think she has a temper, as do many politicians. And Rudy Giuliani, your favorite guy, has a temper, as, you know -- as do many people. And I think that she also --

HANNITY: I've never seen Rudy's temper. This is --

POWERS: Rudy -- there's plenty --

HANNITY: You don't hear his close aides saying that.

POWERS: Well, you haven't seen Hillary's temper, either. You're talking about what other people have said. Now, listen, Sean, I know a lot of people who've worked for her, a lot of people who worked for her. In the White House, she had almost no turnover on her staff, she -- on her Senate campaign, in her Senate office. So, are there some people who've been on the receiving end of her temper? Sure.

HANNITY: Her longtime secretary --

POWERS: But there are a lot of people that are very loyal to her and very happy working for her.

HANNITY: Her longtime secretary, "the person on the receiving end of this never gets over it." We have -- she cursed out the White House counsel, a guy by the name of Ab Mikva. We have ex-bodyguards, Secret Service agents. Susan McDougal referred to her as a "scary woman."

POWERS: OK. Sean, look, are you seriously telling me that you think there are politicians -- that politicians don't have tempers? I mean, have you worked around politicians before?

HANNITY: No, I think what we've -- no. Well, I've never seen -- this -- but everyone that's close to her is saying the same thing about her.

POWERS: But I think you've got to keep it in the context of what she does --

HANNITY: George Stephanopoulos --

POWERS: -- and who she is. And I'm just telling you -- first of all, I do have to say that while there are people who say that she has a bad temper, she had almost no turnover on her staff in the White House, so that says something.

HANNITY: OK, 'cause they were scared to probably leave for --

POWERS: No, I know a lot of them and they like her.

HANNITY: Andrew, let me throw this question to you, because I guess the question now comes out, as we see that both Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton are out there claiming that they are being unfairly treated because of her gender. We have this Swift-boating of her going on here -- and it seems like this is basically their MO. They have smeared -- they have besmirched anybody that has come out against them.

WILKOW: You know what the best part is, is that this all started with Chris Dodd. A lightweight like Chris Dodd managed to take her apart, and what's happening now is Bill Clinton is doing the mop-up. They're claiming it's sexism; it's piling on; it's the boys are being tough on her.

HANNITY: Swift-boating.

WILKOW: This is the primaries. If you can't even handle Chris Dodd, how are you going to handle Mitt Romney or Rudy or Fred Thompson, or even worse, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?

HANNITY: Well, that's a good question. I mean, do you think -- and now we've got this new controversy that has emerged. Not only can she not answer questions, but they lash out at Tim Russert, and the other candidates, but now we find out she's planting questions in an audience in a sophisticated scheme as described by one of the --

POWERS: Do you really believe Hillary Clinton can't answer questions?

HANNITY: Yeah, I really do.

POWERS: I mean, did you watch any of the debates?

HANNITY: I really did. I have.

POWERS: It's like -- did you watch seven debates where Hillary has made one mistake?

HANNITY: Here's her answers. Here's her answers.

POWERS: No, but you're telling --

HANNITY: She couldn't answer a direct question on illegal immigration.

POWERS: This isn't your argument, though. Your argument is that she crumbles under questioning.

HANNITY: Hang on a second. Let me answer. She wouldn't answer the question about illegal immigrants and legal driver's licenses. After seven years in the Senate, she wants a blue ribbon commission on Social Security.

ALAN COLMES (co-host): That's a good idea.

HANNITY: She won't answer how she's going to stop Ahmadinejad from getting some nuclear capability.

COLMES: She'll talk to him.

HANNITY: She --

POWERS: Well, you just don't like her positions on Iran. It's not that she doesn't have one.

HANNITY: Is there a position? Is there one? Explain it. What is it?

POWERS: The position is exactly what she said at the debate --

HANNITY: What is it?

POWERS: -- that she explained that she voted --

HANNITY: Explain it!

POWERS: -- for the resolution, that she thinks that they're a major threat, that she wants to use diplomacy.

HANNITY: She was asked how she stops them.

POWERS: You don't like -- because you want her to say that she wants to bomb them, Sean.

HANNITY: That's not what I'm looking for.

POWERS: I mean, if she doesn't say that, then you think she doesn't have a position. She supported that resolution --

COLMES: Something called diplomacy.

POWERS: -- that she caught a lot of flak for.

COLMES: Yeah, and she then came out with a statement supporting Spitzer on driver's licenses, which are not IDs, by the way, they're a special kind of driver's license.

WILKOW: They are, because we're going to have to get New York passports --

COLMES: By the way, what is the temperament --

WILKOW: We're going to have to get New York passports to get on a plane.

COLMES: I want a president who's got -- you've got to have a temper sometimes. I mean, that's normal. It's a normal human being thing, by the way.

Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Sean Hannity
Show/Publication
Hannity & Colmes
Stories/Interests
2008 Elections
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