Rick Sanchez to Ann Coulter: Why Was Cheney Applauded at CPAC?

Is Rick Sanchez becoming CNN's answer to Keith Olbermann?

After all, he does almost as poor a job of hiding his love for Barack Obama or his utter disdain for conservatives.

Consider that during his Friday interview with Ann Coulter, Sanchez actually asked the conservative author why the audience at CPAC gave former Vice President Dick Cheney such a fabulous welcome when he spoke to them the previous evening.

Sanchez also repeated the typical Democrat talking points about Halliburton, no-bid contracts, Clinton surpluses, and how all the problems facing the current President are George W. Bush's fault.

With this in mind, as you watch the following, ask yourself if it is possible for Sanchez to be ANY MORE obvious about his political leanings (video embedded below the fold with full transcript, h/t Story Balloon):

RICK SANCHEZ, HOST: You wonder if the conservative commentator Ann Coulter is thinking about this as well, as she gets ready to join us. I think she is here. Ann Coulter, are you ready to go?


SANCHEZ: Good to see you. I can't help but ask you how things are going there at CPAC, lots of young activists are there and politicians that are representing the Republican Party's future. One in particular who looks like a superstar is this Marco Rubio, a Cuban kid who grew up in Miami like I did. What do you make of him?

COULTER: Well, he is very impressive. He is a fantastic tea party candidate, so to speak. This is definitely the man conservative activists have been talking about in Florida for the past, well, at least the past year. And outside of Florida not too many outside of the conservative movement not too many people have heard of him.

This year, I think he will stand a pretty good chance.

SANCHEZ: Are you surprised that Marco Rubio didn't get the same ovation that this guy did? Now, here is a face from the past, the former vice president stands up, a surprise appearance, by the way, at the convention, and gets a big ovation after that. Do we have that, Dan? Roll it if we have got it. This is Dick Cheney.


CHENEY: I think that Barack Obama is a one-term president.



SANCHEZ: That is interesting. But I am wondering if by doing that the former vice president is not handing the Democrats an ace in a bad hand, if you will, if you know what I get -- if you know what I mean?

COULTER: I'm not sure I do, but I heard the first part about why did he get a bigger standing ovation than Marco Rubio, and that is because conservatives reward results, and we liked the vice president, and he was vice president, whereas Marco Rubio was still just a sparkle in our eyes, though, we do expect big things from him. And no, I think that Cheney is doing a fine job, and we do need somebody out there. As we discovered under Bush, Republicans need a wartime president who can talk. I think President Bush was magnificent in fighting the war on terrorism, but a lot of times it is tough because he was not out there making the argument.

And when he did make the argument, as with Israel, for example, it was spectacular. So it is nice to have one man taking the lead to defend the conservative position of national security, which most of all seems to entail acknowledging that there is a war on terrorism.

SANCHEZ: I hope you can hear me, because I am going to challenge you a little bit on that. I think that the people who love Ann Coulter are Americans who believe in free market principles. They are people who, like the guys in Texas who know how to put down oil fires and would love to go and help their country in Iraq.

But Dick Cheney told them no, we don't need you. We will let our companies take care of this in no-bid contracts and with money borrowed from China into companies that had ties to Dick Cheney.

Now, everything I just said is true, and it doesn't at all, Ann, sound like something that conservatives, true Ann Coulter-loving conservatives, would believe in. So why are conservatives standing on their chairs and applauding a man who did that, such an un- conservative thing to this country?

COULTER: Thank you, I did get that question. You are talking about Red Adair, the guy who flew to Iraq and had his private company put out all of the fires during the first Gulf War. And I'll bet you Red Adair and all of his guys would support Dick Cheney, point one.

Point two, I gather you are talking about Halliburton, and liberals were hysterical about that for seven years. And now we find that one no-bid contract after another are going to Obama cronies. At least in the case of Halliburton, I will give you two points, one is there was only one other company that could do what Halliburton does, and it is French company. You can look that up.

SANCHEZ: Not true, Ann, not true.

COULTER: So not surprising they will give it to the American company.

And point two, Halliburton was losing money in Iraq. So I think that the liberal hysteria over Halliburton was equivalent to, and you don't see this that much on the right wing, you see a few nuts, often liberals, complaining about Obama's birth certificate. That is the credibility of the Halliburton hysteria has.

SANCHEZ: First of all, I was not talking about Red Adair. I was talking about a coalition of gentlemen who work in Texas who tried to put in bids and were essentially told they couldn't.

Let me ask you a question, because this is important too. You hear the argument after one year we decided Obama is bad, and this is the argument that you hear from the folks behind you, Obama is bad because he is going to be using our children's money in the future, et cetera, et cetera.

Well, everything that was done during the Bush administration was money that was borrowed from China and Brazil and other countries, and isn't that the same thing, and why wasn't that argument being made then?

By the way, if I am over-articulating these questions, it is because Ann said she could not me very well, so I apologize to the viewers.

COULTER: No, I heard that. Thank you, you are doing an excellent job. I'm sorry if it is annoying to your viewers, but I can hear you.


If you think that we were not complaining about the spending of the Congress and Bush not using the veto pen, then you were not following the CPAC conventions very closely. Conservatives and talk radio hosts and people like me were going crazy over that. It is not true.

You have this image that is foisted on people like me that we were Bush flaks, defended anything he did. Quite to the contrary, it was conservatives who said no to Harriet Myers and the conservatives who said no to amnesty for illegal immigration, and it was conservatives screaming from the rooftops about the spending.

The problem is that there is this runway train where congressmen vote for bigger and bigger budgets, and an awful lot of it are things that without a major action cannot be changed, the entitlements of Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security.

But the same time, the fact that you had a mosquito bite in the Bush administration and before that in the Clinton administration does not compare to dropping a nuclear bomb on the economy now. The spending has gone through the roof. This is not an incremental, gradual change.

SANCHEZ: But, OK, let me ask you in fairness, the president of the United States under George W. Bush and Dick Cheney were actually given a surplus. They left the United States in a situation where in George Bush's own words, "the economy was on the brink of collapse," and according to his advisers, we were staring at another depression.

That is the condition in which he gave this president, the Barack Hussein Obama as he is being called at that rally there, the White House. It's almost like here is the house, it's on fire. Put out the fire, and by the way, you have do it really fast. That's what some folks would argue.


SANCHEZ: Is it unfair? Argue that one.

COULTER: I think it's a very simplistic way of looking at the world. For one thing that can't be described in 30 seconds, but the surplus was a surplus on paper. It's what the government was expecting to take in versus what they were expecting to spend. So that's kind of a myth and a fraud.

You can also look that up on Google, the explanation of what a surplus under the Clinton administration was. And what was the -- your other point about this?

SANCHEZ: Well, why is it that -- I'll tell you what. Think about it. My producers are telling we have to get a break in. Are you cool to stand by for another couple of minutes here?


SANCHEZ: Ann Coulter standing by, answering the question about whether or not some of the criticism of the Obama administration, in comparison to what happened during the Bush administration is really fair. That's coming out of CPAC.

I know we're having a tough time hearing each other, so I apologize for over-articulating everything. We'll be right back. Stay right there with more from Ann Coulter at CPAC.


SANCHEZ: Ann Coulter is good enough to join us. She's at CPAC. She's our correspondent on CPAC, working double duty for us today.

All right, here's the great argument that Americans have all over the country. If the Iraq war was so important, why didn't we sacrifice as a nation? Why weren't we taxed? Why didn't the Bush administration, instead of borrowing the money from China to fight this war that would seem like it wasn't costing Americans, actually tell Americans it's a bitter pill, but we're all in this together. Why not?

COULTER: I never understand this argument, that we all needed to suffer more for it to be a successful war. We have a magnificent volunteer military. They did a magnificent job. And yes I think the war in Iraq was important. In fact, Joe Biden is now claiming credit for the war as one of the achievements of the Obama administration.

SANCHEZ: I'm sorry, I don't mean to interrupt. Do you think the war in Iraq was necessary?


SANCHEZ: Do you think the war in Iraq was necessary?

COULTER: The necessary/convenient arguments I do not understand. I mean, was World War II necessary? Hitler didn't attack us. Was the civil war necessary? The Vietnam War? The Korean War? Either all wars are a war of necessity or all wars are wars of convenience. I think the war in Iraq was a very important war. We needed a foothold in the Middle East. We needed to knock out a guy who, whether we can find the stockpiles now, was certainly intent on developing weapons of mass destruction, who tried to assassinate a former president of the United States, who had Al Qaeda in his country.

And in particular to have a democracy someplace in that godforsaken region of the world so the rest of the Arab dictators can't say the reason you're living in the dirt is because of the great Satan and because of Israel.

What we needed and what we have in Iraq is an Arab Israel, and that is incredibly important, and we will be enjoying the benefits of that I hope for the rest of our lifetimes as long as the current president doesn't blow it. But since Biden is claiming it as the accomplishment of the Obama administration, I guess he won't.

SANCHEZ: So you just compared the Iraq war to World War II. Do you think that's an apt comparison?

COULTER: No, I'm just -- well in the sense they're both wars. What I was saying was the -- the phrase -- the arguments that Iraq was a war of convenience, Afghanistan a war of necessity -- I think that's a silly argument.

I keep hearing Iraq didn't attack us on 9/11, neither did Afghanistan. The Taliban thought Osama bin Laden was a little nutty, but he brought all this money into the country. The Taliban didn't attack us, but we went in to take out the Taliban.

All wars are, I suppose, in a sense, a war of convenience, as the expression goes, or they're all wars of necessity. But you don't have to fight any war. Yes, I think Iraq was an important war to fight, and I think we're enjoying the benefits of it now. Thank you, George Bush.

SANCHEZ: Ann Coulter, thanks so much for taking time to join us. I enjoyed the discussion. And I know you've got to run, and I've already pushed the limit by an extra 56 seconds or whatever I did. Can we do this again? I really enjoy it.

COULTER: Absolutely. I love you, Rick, and I especially love your family, the right-wingers.


SANCHEZ: You've got to stop going and drinking Cuban coffee in Miami. You're drinking too much of the Cuban coffee, Ann Coulter. Thanks so much.


COULTER: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: Ann Coulter, joining us from CPAC.

Sheesh. They really ought to change the name of this show to "Rick's LIBERAL List!"

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