Calif. AG fires up Fox News

Legal News Line Jul. 30, 2008, 12:12pm

Jerry Brown (D)

SACRAMENTO, Calif., (Legal Newsline)-More than thirty years in state and national politics have done nothing to slow down California Attorney General Jerry Brown, as the hosts of a Fox News talk show found out in a hurry Tuesday night.

The news channel that liberals decry as anything but impartial news invited Brown to participate in the nightly talk show program "Hannity & Colmes" to counter the opinion of former Republican Virginia Sen. George Allen.

Topics included potential vice-presidential picks, energy plans and off-shore drilling.

The top story centered on speculation that Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, a former lieutenant general of Virginia, was at the top of the list to become presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama's running mate. Allen said Kaine wouldn't deliver Virginia as Democrats might hope in choosing him, and even Brown said he thought the pick was far from a done deal.

"I wouldn't prematurely close this," Brown said. "I'd look around. You may want something that is unexpected. You may want to put a woman on the ticket."

Kaine's term is ending as Virginia has a one-term limit for its governors. Kaine, the former civil rights litigator served under the popular Democratic governor, Mark Warner before taking the top spot in the state that voted Republican overwhelmingly during the 1990s, voted both times for President Bush, but after also voted in Democrat Jim Webb over Allen for senator in 2006. Democrats have targeted the state as a key battleground in the coming presidential election.

As the topic of the show turned to energy solutions, host Sean Hannity quickly learned Jerry Brown is not a politician who is easily talked over or talked past.

After having few opportunities to talk early in the show - at one point, Hannity told Allen that he was going to breakout the filibuster hat -- Brown simply refused to be silenced.

With Allen still talking, guest co-host Susan Estrich, a Democratic political commentator from California, invited Brown into the fray. "Jerry, go,"

"I'm waiting for a period," Brown quipped, as Allen talked on.

"Go," Estrich said again.

"The way you're talking," Brown said to Allen, "it's as though there hasn't been a Republican in the White House for eight years. All these energy problems could have been solved many times in many ways if George Bush and the Republican majority had stepped up."

As for Obama, Brown touted his leadership ability.

"Somebody has to lead, and that's where I think Obama is so powerful here," Brown said. "He's coming after failure. Seventy percent of the American people think we're going in the wrong direction, so the context is set for change."

As the Republican presidential nominee, Arizona Sen. John McCain says he believes energy can be a key issue over Obama. Allen tried to win the point against Brown.

"Jerry, do you think we ought to be taxing coal?" Allen asked. "Heck, we're the Saudi Arabia of the world in coal? Do you think nuclear need to be a part of it?"

"I think everything needs to be a part of it," Brown said.

For the rest of the show Brown simply refused to be quieted, firing barbs at President Bush, touting the need for awareness on global warming issues and the need for Americans to sacrifice to change the "crisis" created during the Bush presidency.

"These guys are tough, Sean," Estrich said to Hannity over the din of the two politicians talking over one another.

Hannity tried to get Allen back into the conversation, asking him about energy plans, but Brown jumped back in.

"Guys, I've got to add one more thing," he said.

"Let George talk," Hannity replied.

"We're putting so little into energy research ..." said Brown as the entire panel began speaking at once.

"Hang on Jerry," Hannity said.

"Jerry," Allen said

"We got to have - my point is simple, we're not putting the money..." Brown continued.

"Jerry, let him get the last word. We'll wrap it up," Hannity said, shaking his head, apparently at how his show had spun out of control.

"Look," Allen said with a pause to preface his thoughts. Oops.

"We've not..." Brown jumped back in, as the panel again exploded in cross talk.

"Go to John McCain's Web site," Allen urged, clearly flustered.

"Let's talk about the real issues here," Brown said, jabbing a finger at the screen.

"All right," Hannity broke in. "Jerry, Jerry, we've got to go. I have one word to you as I say goodbye-decaf."

"Why are you guys monopolizing the airwaves?" Brown said, still not finished. "I'm just trying to get a little bit in ..."

"God bless you, Jerry," Hannity said.

"Just a word or two..." Brown said as the credits began to roll.

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