US Senator Orrin Hatch
GLENN: I saw a story in The Wall Street Journal, it was last week, where Arlen Specter is threatening to shut the Senate down because George Bush can't get any of his judges approved. The last two years of Jimmy Carter's administration, 44 judges were approved. If you want to know why we're all screwed up. Ronald Reagan had 17. George H. W. Bush had 20. Bill Clinton in his last two years had 15. George W. Bush, six. And they're all stacked up and the Senate won't even talk about it. Nobody will even talk about it. The Democrats just are going to shut everything down, and Arlen Specter is spitting mad and Orrin Hatch is also a little bit upset. How are you, Senator? Senator, are you there?
SENATOR HATCH: Hello?
GLENN: Senator hatch? How are you? We're on.
SENATOR HATCH: Great.
GLENN: Are you following with Arlen Specter in wanting to shut down the Senate?
SENATOR HATCH: I can tell you this. You mean with regard to judges?
SENATOR HATCH: What's happening here is they are just not living up to even remote historical standards. I think the last time we've had this dearth of judgeship confirmations in the United States Senate was in the 1800s, way back then. And that was when it was extremely partisan. Well, it's extremely partisan today and I have to say the Democrats on the committee are not doing the job.
GLENN: You know, you've told me before, you said -- I'm trying to remember. I think it was a year ago we actually happened to be at a function together and we bumped into each other and you said, Glenn, in all of my years, I have never, ever seen it like it is now. It's absolutely unworkable.
SENATOR HATCH: Well, it really is. And I have to tell you it's so partisan that it's just unbelievable. You know, it just seems to happen every time when a Republican President is in office. We've had nothing but hard slugging the whole way through to get the judges on board that we have. You know, they are at least 50 judgeship nominations behind what we did at the end of Clinton's administration. I mean, it's just unbelievable.
GLENN: So what happens?
SENATOR HATCH: Well, we just have to put some pressure on them and I have to say that, you know, they don't seem to care. You know, the vast majority of the media is extremely liberal. They don't take them to task. So they don't seem to care. And they just blatantly just ignore decent rules that really mean that we ought to get these judges on the bench. For instance, in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, the whole court of appeals, the press is vacant. The press has nominated four of the five vacancies. These are all judicial emergencies and they are not going to go to any of them. There are a couple of them that are just absolutely super. They are the highest recommendations by the American Bar Association. In fact, all four of them are. And they just won't even call them up.
GLENN: And what's their excuse?
SENATOR HATCH: Well, we know their excuse is that it's never given because the media doesn't hold them to task. But the fact of the matter is what's really involved here is they are afraid, for instance, of Peter Keisler. He's brilliant. He actually ran the Justice Department until Mukasey got there. He's a brilliant, brilliant young fella who undoubted by would be on the fast track to the Supreme Court and they just plain do not want something like that.. And yet by any measure he has been honest, decent, honorable and somebody who would respect the rule of law.
GLENN: You know what, our government is broken. How are we headed for --
SENATOR HATCH: It's broken because of this partisanship. There are things -- partisanship isn't always bad but when it's always partisanship, it's bad. That's what we have right now. It's just awful. I've got to tell you I've been here 31 years. By anybody's measure I think a successful 31 years but in all honesty we've only had -- we haven't had one day where the conservative philosophy was the majority in the United States Senate, not one day. Because we always have five, six, seven or eight mavericks or liberal Republicans who go with the almost all liberal Democrats.
GLENN: Well, you know, but a lot of people would say that you are that guy, too, that you've had some real liberal moments.
SENATOR HATCH: Not very liberal moments but you can just count on -- whenever you see a Hatch/Kennedy bill or Hatch/Dodd or Hatch/Waxman, you can bet your bottom dollar they had to come way to the center on many times to be able to work with me on legislation and some of the legislation we've worked on, though some conservatives decried, has worked out to be some of the best legislation in the history of the country. Hatch/Waxman created the moderate drug industry. Waxman's one of the most liberal members of congress in the whole congress but yet it created the modern generation drug industry and basically has saved taxpayers and consumers $10 billion every year since 1984, just to mention one. But no, I don't --
GLENN: Senator, let me --
SENATOR HATCH: I don't give up my principles.
GLENN: Let me ask you this about Barack Obama.
SENATOR HATCH: Sure.
GLENN: I don't know if you followed the latest two spiritual advisors. One was featured in his ad campaign. Have you seen these guys?
SENATOR HATCH: I haven't.
GLENN: Oh, my gosh.
SENATOR HATCH: I saw Wright.
GLENN: Oh, no. This is the same stuff. Two new advisors that are saying, you know, basically, you know, there's a lot of African-Americans that are house N words that are just doing the bidding of white men and it's -- I mean, it's amazing, shocking, horrifying stuff. Can you tell me? Barack seems like a nice guy but show me your friends and I'll show you your future. He's surrounding himself with these creatures that are off the deep end in race stuff. Have you ever had any, have you ever had any indication at all that he's not what he presents himself as?
SENATOR HATCH: Well, I have not had any indication. He is basically a very nice person, he's very bright, he is articulate. But I've got to tell you, you are known somewhat by the friendships you keep and, you know, how you live your personal life. I think from what all I can see, he lives a very good life. He's a decent, honorable man, but he is considered the most liberal guy in the whole United States Senate. Now, if that's what we want in this country, that's a far cry from what I think the majority of the people. If you look at the polls on almost every issue, the people in this country are basically moderate to conservative.
GLENN: But you know what? The same polls will show -- and I love this one. I just saw a poll, I have it for tomorrow's show some place. Basically 70 something percent of the American people say I want smaller government and I want lower taxes.
SENATOR HATCH: Yeah. On almost every poll you find people really believe in conservative principles.
GLENN: But look at what they're voting for. Look what they're moving towards.
SENATOR HATCH: But guess what. You know, Rossman and Lichter, two Democrat political scientists that are honest men a number of years ago did a poll of the media and they concluded that the media was 89% far left liberal, mainstream media.
GLENN: Yeah, I know.
SENATOR HATCH: So we don't ever get -- we can't get our ideas totally across. That's one of the problems. Now, thank goodness for people like you who, you know, make people think and make people see both sides.
GLENN: Well, Senator, best of luck to you and you just tell us what we need to get out to help you guys get some judges through in the Senate, but do what you have to do and batten down the hatches, brother.
SENATOR HATCH: Best of luck to you and, you know, it's nice to have a senator who isn't running for President get on one of these programs.
GLENN: We'll talk to you again, senator.
SENATOR HATCH: Hang in there. We love you.