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John Edwards Aces Hannity & Colmes Appearance

Reported by Ellen - January 24, 2007 -

I have to admit that when I heard John Edwards would be coming on Hannity & Colmes last night (1/23/07) to discuss Bush’s State of the Union speech, I was a little concerned he might not be prepared for Hannity’s bullyboy bravado. I was wrong. Edwards’ straight-talking, humanitarian attitude quickly laid to rest Hannity’s gotcha questions. It didn’t hurt that Hannity was less of a blowhard than usual. With video.

Edwards was refreshingly candid but also more politic rather than partisan. He diplomatically pointed out where he agreed with President Bush yet still managed to damn him with elegantly faint praise. For example, Edwards said he welcomed Bush’s energy and health proposals but called them “small, baby steps” instead of the “transformational” actions he thought necessary.

In response to Alan Colmes’ question about the state of the economy, Edwards acknowledged that part of what Bush said is right, that there has been growth in the economy and “some good things” have happened. But, Edwards said, “the problem is that growth is largely tilted” toward highly educated people and those with capital. Edwards also noted his disappointment that Bush never discussed New Orleans.

About Bush’s health care proposal Edwards said, “I have to applaud the president” for talking about health care but, he added, the tax system is not the way to fix the health care system which has serious, structural problems. “We need a serious, systemic restructuring.”

Hannity asked, “Would you take a no new tax pledge? …Do you think Americans are overtaxed or undertaxed?”

Rather than tapdance around the questions, Edwards said right away that he would not make that pledge because the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy have created “huge problems.” Edwards continued by saying that the question of being overtaxed or undertaxed is not black and white, that some people are overtaxed, like the middle class, but that top earners, like himself, are not.

Hannity trotted out his well-worn statistics that "the bottom 50% of wagearners only pay 3.8 % of the federal tax bill. The top... 10% pay nearly 70% of the tax bill."

Rather than attack Hannity’s stingy, blame-the-poor attitude, Edwards said that he took advantage of America and what it has to offer. “I think those of us who have done extraordinarily well” have more of a responsibililty to give back.

Hannity had no answer for that.