Last Friday, Glenn posed an honest question for prominent small government conservatives, including Sean Hannity, who have voiced their support for Donald Trump. Hannity answered Glenn's question in a rather lengthy reply on Sunday.
On radio Monday, Glenn said he disagrees with Hannity, but - what a shock - they don't hate each other.
"Sean and I are different, obviously. Different people. And we run different shows," Glenn said.
Glenn described Hannity's show as an opportunity for viewers to see as many candidates as possible and make decisions accordingly. As for his own show, Glenn sees his role a little differently.
"There are many candidates that will not come on my show because they don't like me. And they know that I will express and assert my opinion and push back, not in an interview way, but push back as a citizen. That's not what Sean does," Glenn said.
Glenn will join Hannity's show on Fox News tonight at 10pm ET to share his thoughts on Donald Trump, insights on the 2016 Republican field and other issues.
Listen to Glenn's discussion on radio or read Hannity's full response below.
You are a friend and a patriot who has asked an honest and thoughtful question, and I will attempt to answer it in this post.
You asked, "Can we actually have a civil discourse based on facts? Not on emotion or feelings?" Of course we can! For all of you leftists out there in the media and elsewhere hoping this will become a "food fight," you will be extremely disappointed.
Let me first point out that I am personally UNDECIDED as to whom I I will support in the GOP primaries. The good news is the Iowa Caucus is February 1, 2016. That gives us over 5 1/2 months before the REAL process begins in deciding who the Republican presidential nominee will be. Five and a half months is an eternity in political terms.
A lot can and will happen between now and then. Some candidates will trip and fall or stumble. Some will recover and others may not. Polls will shift, debates will hopefully enlighten, and voters (that is, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE) will decide which way this is going to go.
This is not my first rodeo. I began my talk radio journey in 1987. I am about to begin my 20th year on the Fox News Channel. I have followed presidential politics closely since my early teens. I often remind both my listeners and viewers that this is a PROCESS. We do not have to decide today.
As a registered conservative in New York state, I only have one vote. From a voting perspective, I will have no say, really, in deciding who the Republican presidential nominee will be in 2016. Just as I have in past presidential cycles, I feel I can best serve both my television and radio audiences by giving them as much access as possible to all of the candidates so they can make an informed decision in the primary.
For example, in just the last 2 weeks I have had on both radio and TV Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Ben Carson, Scott Walker, Carly Fiorina, John Kasich Mike Huckabee, Rick Perry, and Chris Christie.
I have given many of the candidates a FULL hour on my TV show, as well. My plan is to continue to offer all the candidates more airtime throughout the entire process.
As I mentioned, I have two jobs that I love to do every day (which is to build an audience, and to generate revenue), but that is not my primary motivation. As somebody who follows the news closely every day, I am extremely concerned about the direction of the country and the world in general.
In my view, America is at a crossroads -- a tipping point. To me, this election is not about ME OR WHO I VOTE FOR. I personally want the most CONSERVATIVE candidate (because conservatism works) with the best, most inspiring solutions for the country; someone who can passionately articulate those solutions, and win.
Which Republican candidate can offer solutions that will:
1. Create jobs and help the 93 million Americans who are out of the labor force get back to work
2. Help get nearly 50 million Americans out of poverty
3. Help nearly 46 million Americans who are on food stamps get back to work
4. Stop robbing future generations with record debt and deficits. We now have over 18 trillion dollars in debt and over 100 trillion in unfunded liabilities.
5. Balance the budget, force the government to live within its means, and lower taxes by transforming our tax code
6. Save Social Security (because the "Lock Box" has been stolen)
7. Save Medicare
8. Repeal Obamacare, and hopefully replace it with personal healthcare savings accounts
9. Make America energy independent. This would create jobs, lower the cost of energy, and reduce our dependence on imported oil from countries that hate us.
10. Protect our borders from those who do not respect our laws and sovereignty, and those who enter the country to cause us harm
11. Transform a broken educational system and replace public schools with school choice for parents and kids trapped in failing schools
12. End burdensome regulations
13. Restore constitutional order and separation of powers with co-equal branches of government as our founders intended
14. Identify by name our biggest enemy (radical Islamists) and take every step necessary to defeat this evil
15. Undo this horrific, naive, and incredibly dangerous deal with the radical Mullahs in Iran that chant death to America
16. Restore America's sacred and special relationship with Israel
17. Empower moderate nations and people in the Middle East and elsewhere to defeat enemies in the region
18. Confront Putin with strength to stop his geopolitical ambitions
19. Confront China and thwart its geopolitical ambitions and unfair trade practices
20. Commit to the idea that America is the single greatest force for good in the world, and that America's role is to lead the fight for freedom around the world
This is only a short list of challenges we now face as a country. As our mutual friend "The Great One," Mark Levin, says, we are living in a post constitutional America. I have a sense of urgency that I have never had before in my life that the "America" we love and grew up in is slipping away, literally hanging in the balance. Now is NOT the time for half measures It is time, as Reagan said, for a "revitalized second party with no pale pastels but BOLD COLORED DIFFERENCES."
I am extremely disappointed with current congressional "leadership," as they have failed to keep their most BASIC promises. They refused to use their constitutional authority of the power of the purse to defund Obamacare. They caved on their main 2014 campaign promise to stop Obama's illegal and unconstitutional executive amnesty. And they are generally weak, timid and afraid to confront Obama for fear they will be blamed for a government shutdown.
With that said I am greatly encouraged by many of the 17 candidates currently running for the GOP nomination.
Sen. Ted Cruz has shown a willingness few in Congress have shown TO FIGHT! His filibuster in 2013 was inspiring, as is his willingness to take on his own party.
Sen. Rand Paul's reminders about limited government and fidelity to the Constitution is similarly refreshing.
Sen. Marco Rubio offers an extremely bright, articulate and friendly vision of conservatism that will inspire many Americans.
Former Sen. Rick Santorum is making a strong push to rebuild the "Reagan Coalition" and is articulating how blue collar voters will benefit under conservatism.
Gov. Scott Walker has shown that a conservative can win in a blue state, and turn deficits into surpluses, create jobs, and he was willing to put his political career on the line for his conservative beliefs.
Gov. John Kasich similarly took record deficits in Ohio and turned them into record surpluses. He also created hundreds of thousands of jobs. While budget chairman in DC, Kasich was the architect of REAL BALANCED BUDGETS.
Gov. Jeb Bush's record in Florida is equally impressive. He created 1.4 million jobs, the nations first school voucher program, and produced balanced budgets.
Gov. Rick Perry, but for his leadership in Texas, America would have experienced a NET loss of jobs in Obama's first term. Obama owes Gov. Perry a debt of gratitude.
Gov. Bobby Jindal, who is young, bright, and vibrant, had massive reductions in the size of government, vouchers, and a proven willingness to take on the status quo.
Gov. Mike Huckabee deserves major kudos for his commitment to religious freedom, the Constitution and the Fair Tax, which, I believe, will transform the American economy for the better.
Gov. Chris Christie deserves credit for taking on the third rail in politics, i.e., ENTITLEMENTS! The bottom line is we have been lied to and stolen from, and unless we deal with these entitlements (which have become the majority of government spending), our kids will not have a future.
Dr. Ben Carson has articulated a version of common sense, conservatism, and courage in confronting Obama that congressional Republicans should learn from. His vision for healthcare savings accounts is the perfect antidote to Obamacare.
Carly Fiorina has been nothing short of inspiring in confronting Hillary Clinton's moral, ethical, and legal deficiencies. Her knowledge of the economy and world affairs has captivated the country.
Now, I could point out areas of disagreement and deficiencies in all the candidates ... but I will leave that to the voters and the liberal Obama-loving media. The Republican field of candidates offer a far more inspiring vision for our country than either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. If conservative principles are implemented we can save and preserve the country for our kids and grandkids.
My hope is that the GOP candidates will all push each other to become stronger in their commitment to this conservative vision -- all of which will get this country back on track before we become another version of Greece.
Now to Mr Trump: The first debate attracted 24 million Americans, by far a cable television record. There is zero doubt in my mind that he was a big part of that record breaking debate.
By comparison, the first Republican debate of the 2012 cycle hosted by Fox News in May 2011, drew just 3.2 million viewers, according to Nielsen. Its highest-rated Republican debate (in 2012) drew 6.7 million viewers.
Kudos to Donald Trump for creating an audience that not only benefitted him, but every other candidate and the entire country. He single handedly made politics refreshingly fun, unpredictable and interesting. That is a great benefit to the country.
Now to your specific points, because you said you "really want to understand."
First you wrote:
"I get that Trump is reflective of what people are feeling; secure the border; fight to win; don't give in to China, etc. I really do understand that he is saying things that people are feeling. Justifiably.
I get the fact that he is saying that America is a great place and that we can be great again. That is rare and refreshing.
I understand that he is seen, and has the proof in New York City, as a guy who can get things done. I understand and like the fact that he just says what he is thinking. No politically correct BS, no focus groups, and he does it with out apologizing."
My only comment to this, Glenn, is ... you are answering your own question in many ways. These are not insignificant things. Why, at this early stage, would you be so dismissive?
1. Fight to win
2. Stand up to China
3. Make America great again
4. Trump has a track record of getting the job done
5. Secure the border 6. Straight talking, non-politically correct politician!
To address what you say you do not understand:
1. "He is part of the problem when he, by his own admission, buys politicians":
How refreshingly honest that he admits what we all know. I asked him about this and he answered by saying he "hates" the system, wants to change it, but as a businessman he played the game. I applaud the honesty and desire to change it.
2. Trump "identifies his policies more as a Democrat; he makes President Obama look truly humble..."
If you are looking for humble, Trump is not your guy.
As for his political views I asked him a number of times about it, including this week. He was clear that he was once a Democrat and changed his views. You will have to decide for yourself how sincere he is. My sense is that he is sincere. He is correct in pointing out that Reagan was was a pro-choice Democrat who also evolved.
Glenn, one of the things I admire about you is how you have changed. Your life story is extremely compelling because of the significant changes you have made in your life.
You are not shy about pointing out how you once led a pretty fast life. (I did, too, when I was young, as we have all sinned and fallen short), how you found your faith, how you changed your politics, and how your thinking evolved by studying our founders and framers. I read that you recently became a libertarian. I like the changes you have made and your willingness to share those things with your audience. Are you a better person as a result of these changes? My guess is you are.
3. Trump was very pro-abortion until very recently.
His answer at the debate was extremely compelling, about how his views changed. He said he changed his mind because of a child that was going to be aborted, but then wasn't. That is believable to me. Do you think he is lying about that?
4. He still says, "Don't defund planned parenthood ..."
I asked him about that this week, and he was very clear that funding would be dependent on whether Planned Parenthood gets out of the abortion business. Personally, with our debt situation, and with what Planned Parenthood has done, I wouldn't give them a penny.
5. Trump is pro- "assault weapon ban ..."
He said to me he that he "was" for the ban, past tense. He now has a pistol carry-permit in NYC and said he believes law-abiding Americans should have the right to "carry."
6. He is in favor of a wealth tax that would just "take money out of people's bank accounts ..."
I also asked him about this earlier this week. He said when he supported this one-time tax on the very wealthy that we were at a point when, if implemented, the tax would have paid off the entire federal debt. He wanted this coupled with a balanced budget amendment. My impression of this was that it would be meant as a patriotic gesture by those who have greatly benefitted from the American Dream. Misguided, well intentioned, perhaps. But he says he is against it now.
7. Trump "says he is for boots on the ground in Iraq, and for 'taking the oil' from the Iraqi people..."
Mr. Trump and I disagreed about the Iraq war; I was for it and he was against it. But I loved his idea of making Iraq pay for its own liberation. I also love the idea of Iraq paying the families of nearly 5,000 Americans who were killed fighting in that war. They deserve that money. They deserve millions of dollars. Similarly, so do those soldiers and families that suffered severe injuries. It's the least Iraq should do for them.
As far as Trump's plan against Isis of creating a perimeter around the oil fields, which is their main financial source for terror? I like that idea, if it is a part of a more comprehensive plan of defeating them. Americans died in Mosul, Ramadi, Fallujah and Tikrit, cities now controlled by Isis. They are modern day Nazis and are getting stronger and richer and more evil every day. I have one caveat: IF AMERICA FIGHTS ANY WAR, WE MUST WIN IT AND WIN IT QUICKLY. NO MORE POLITICALLY CORRECT WARS THAT ARE POLITICIZED AND THEN ABANDONED.
This out of the box thinking is refreshing. Why didn't Iraq pay our military heroes?
8. Trump is a progressive "Republican ..."
He says he is a conservative. It's up to you as to what you want to believe.
9. He says single payer healthcare works; he would give people more than just Obama care ...
Again, this week, in his interview with me, Trump went into great detail about how he supports healthcare savings accounts to replace Obamacare. I have been an advocate of healthcare savings accounts since reading the book by the Cato institute, "Patient Power." A GREAT IDEA.
10. The First Lady would be the first to have posed nude in lesbian porno shots ...
I thought you were libertarian? Also I go back to the fact that you have changed. Trump's wife is a mother and what she did in the past doesn't make my top 10,000 list of problems we face as a country.
11. He said he keeps all the Bibles he is given in a "special place," outside the city -- and he only goes to church on Christmas and Easter ...
I have met atheists and agnostics who seem more in awe of and dazzled by the majesty of God's creation than those who can cite every chapter and verse. To me, religion is a deeply, deeply held personal issue that involves the heart. I am a Christian but a deeply flawed one who regularly needs forgiveness. Having been raised a Catholic, I also have issues with the "church" since sex scandal. I have never lost faith in God. The Bible does say, "... The Kingdom of Heaven is within us," and instructs us to "go into our closets and pray." I hope for Trump's sake, and for everybody's sake, that he has peace in his faith; I know I do.
12. Trump is generally not a likable guy ...
The polls show Republicans like Trump at this moment more than the other candidates. I have known him for years and have found him to be extremely likable and engaging.
13. He has around 16 percent favorability with Hispanics ...
I also saw a poll where he was leading with Hispanic voters in Nevada. IMHO, it's too early to conclude where that settles out.
14. He has gone bankrupt four times.
I thought his explanation at the debate was extremely solid. He never went bankrupt personally, and of the hundreds of business deals he has been involved in, four of them didn't work out well. Shouldn't that be balanced out with all of the deals he has made that have been successful? I think that is only fair. How many jobs has he created over the years? How many careers were made because of his risk taking. Also the proof is in the pudding. He has by every measure been an extremely successful businessman who has made billions of dollars. Not something many people can pull off. I admire success stories. If Trump was president, and he made hundreds of decisions and only four of them went badly, we would likely be in pretty good shape.
15. Just based on his favorability ratings, he could never win in a general. Research shows that he may be near his ceiling now ...
In the end, that's up to the American people to decide, not us.
In conclusion, Glenn, I repeat ... I am personally undecided at this point. But I am glad Donald Trump is in this race. I like his straightforward outsider's view of politics. His personality and background are impressive and refreshing. I like anybody who is not politically correct.
I hope his outspokenness and his courage rubs off on his fellow Republicans, who have all become stale, timid, weak, and generally (especially in DC) useless. Many Republicans can learn a thing or two from Trump.
We have 5 1/2 months until the Iowa caucuses. My promise is to dig deeper into the questions you and others have raised that deserve answers. I also promise to give Mr. Trump and every other candidate a fair shot to explain their views in detail. I think a FAIR SHOT is the best way to serve my audience. Then it's up to the American people, as it should be.
My hope and prayer is that we elect a bold, inspiring conservative visionary who will undo the damage caused by Obama and leftist politicians, and that we can work together to save the country we both love.
Featured Image: NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 21: Host Sean Hannity on set of FOX's "Hannity With Sean Hannity" at FOX Studios on April 21, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images)