Rep. Keith Ellison vs Sean Hannity on FOX News - KMSP-TV

Rep. Keith Ellison vs Sean Hannity on FOX News

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FOX News host Sean Hannity invited Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota) on his show Tuesday night to discuss the big federal spending cuts known as the sequester.

Read a sequester Q&A at

The exchange got heated as Hannity gave-way to Ellison's rant, in which he called the host a shameless representative of the Republican Party and the "worst excuse for a journalist I have ever seen."

"If and when the Obama sequester takes effect on Friday, it's because the president was more concerned with fear-mongering than finding a solution to the problem he himself created," Hannity said in a pre-interview editorial on the topic.

You can watch the full video of Hannity's segment on the sequester, and the interview with Rep. Ellison, at

Here is a transcript of the exchange between Ellison and Hannity:


HANNITY: I guess that's what we can describe as staying on message – something the Democratic Party, I would argue, is very good at.

ELLISON: You're pretty good at it too. I mean, quite frankly, you are the worst excuse for a journalist I have ever seen. It's pretty absurd.

HANNITY: I am the what? I can't hear you.

ELLISON: You heard me. I heard you. What you just displayed was not journalism, it was yellow journalism. It wasn't anything close to trying to tell the American people what's really going on, and, it's just shocking to me.

HANNITY: To play Obama in his own words is yellow journalism?

ELLISON: With the background music and with your lead-up before you let the president talk -- let me tell you, I was here. Everything the president said is absolutely true and for you to try and make the American people think it isn't is deceptive on your part. And it's a breach of everything -- every journalistic ethic I have ever heard of was just violated by you. And the president was truthful, the president was honest, what the president said was dead-on accurate, and for you to say the president is to blame here is ridiculous. I was there August 2011 when the Republicans -- your party -- which you shamelessly represent…

HANNITY: I'm not a Republican, let me correct the record.

ELLISON: You are nothing but a Republican.

HANNITY: No, no. You're wrong. Sir, sir – I'm a registered….I am not a registered Republican, I am a registered conservative sir.

ELLISON: You alibi them constantly, you alibi them one hundred percent of the time.

HANNITY: Keep going, keep ranting.

ELLISON: What the president said is absolutely true. The people watching your show should ignore all the commentary that you put in, and all the hype music you put on, and should pay attention to what the president actually said. Because what the president said was true. You by the way are inaccurate when you say that the president is to blame here. He's not. It was the Republicans in August 2011 who said they were going to cause the American economy to default on debts we already acquired unless they got deep and substantial cuts. And we ended up with a downgrade because of what the Republicans did. And after that, we set up this thing called the super committee, when all the Republican members on that super committee had already pledged to Grover Norquist they would not raise revenue, only do cuts. And then after it failed as it always was going to, we ended up with sequester.

HANNITY: Alright, let me ask you a question.

ELLISON: No, wait a minute, you said I could rant, and I am.

HANNITY: I've given you plenty of time to rant, congressman. Now it's, sir…

ELLISON: We'll let you get a word in, go ahead.

HANNITY: Oh, you're so nice to let me get a word in on my own program.

ELLISON: Okay, I change my mind. As a matter of fact…

HANNITY: Congressman, I will give you your chance. I gave you three minutes to rant. Calm down, I gave you three minutes, relax. I've got a question for you. You were invited on the program to answer a question, I want to give you a couple questions.

ELLISON: No, I'm going to speak. This is a First Amendment issue. I'm going to say what I think is right.

HANNITY: Let me ask you a question, why are you so angry?

ELLISON: Why are you so angry?

HANNITY: I'm not angry. I'm laughing at you because I think this is actually comical.

ELLISON: I'm laughing at you. I'm laughing at you, and it's not the first time.

HANNITY: Listen, I invited you on, I gave you three minutes to rant, now let me ask you a question, we'll have a discussion. In the spirit of bipartisanship let's find a dialogue.

ELLISON: Who? You and me? I thought you weren't a Republican? Did you lie?

HANNITY: You want to make a thousand-dollar bet that I'm a registered conservative? You want to make a ten thousand-dollar bet?

ELLISON: I don't bet. I don't bet.

HANNITY: I'm just telling you, I'm a registered conservative. I wrote a book called Conservative Victory. I didn't write Republican Victory.

ELLISON: Do you have a question for me sir? Put it to me.

HANNITY: First of all, it was Max Baucus and it was Bob Woodward that said the president requested the sequester. Point one. Point number two, my question to you is very simple: Barack Obama, because you said that what he said is true…

ELLISON: The Budget Control Act was forced down the American public by the Republican Party. Sequester is a provision of the Budget Control Act. The Republicans are responsible for the Budget Control Act, which contains sequester.

HANNITY: I know. You're a broken record, now let me get you my question.

ELLISON: You're a broken record.

HANNITY: Okay, thank you. Here's my question. So Barack Obama said in 2008 when he was running for office that George Bush was irresponsible and unpatriotic for -- when he became president, we had 10 trillion dollars in debt. Now have 16 trillion dollars in debt…we now have 16 trillion dollars in debt congressman. 16 trillion dollars in debt. I want to ask you, is it…here's my question Go ahead.

ELLISON: You want to do something about that? I've got an answer for you. You want to do something about the 16 trillion let's do something. Let's close loopholes on large corporations. Let's say that yachts and jets should not be something that you can write up. Let's say that Exxon Mobile and Chevron should not get a tax rebate and subsidy. Let's start there. Let's say that people who get to pay less, on uh--

HANNITY: Alright congressman, you're ranting really well.

ELLISON: Well if you don't like what I'm say I'm ranting. I'm not backing down from you.

HANNITY: Is it immoral? Is it immoral?

ELLISON: You are immoral to tell lies.

HANNITY: I'm immoral? What did I do that's immoral?

ELLISON: You tell mistruths. You say things that aren't true.

HANNITY: Give me one example sir.

ELLISON: To try to say, that it is, that it is the president's fault and he is to blame is wrong and it's a lie -- it's not true.

HANNITY: It's not his fault that we have 16 trillion in debt? We didn't add six trillion dollars to the debt since he's been president?

ELLISON: No, no, wait a minute. What about the other ten? Let's talk about the other ten.

HANNITY: Alright congressman you are a total waste of time. I'm moving on because our audience deserves better.

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