Sean Hannity: “I’m not a Republican”

Hannity on his political affiliation, and other highlights from the Fox News host's interview with Playboy

Topics: Sean Hannity, Republicans, Playboy, Fox News, Barack Obama, Climate Change,

In a wide-ranging interview with Playboy, Fox News host Sean Hannity contended early on that he’s a “registered Conservative” and ”not a Republican, though people often mistake me for one.” The interview continued on to cover everything from Mitt Romney to climate change to pot decriminalization. Here are the highlights:

On Obama’s “fear-mongering”:

The Republicans have no message discipline. Obama has incredible message discipline. His message right now is “Republicans want to poison the air and water. Republicans want kids with autism and Down syndrome and the elderly to fend for themselves.” He’s brilliant at fear-mongering, at demagoguery. He is always on the attack, always politicizing everything. Meanwhile, he keeps spending and borrowing us into a trillion dollars in debt.

On whether a Mitt Romney presidency would have ushered in a “golden age”:

No, but I think you would have had somebody with the experience and the background and, frankly, not as driven by ideology as this president is. Obama’s an ideologue. Now, this being Playboy, you probably won’t agree with me on this, but I think the president is pretty radical in his views.

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On decriminalizing pot:

 I don’t think there should be jail terms. I believe in decriminalization. I do have a problem…how do I say this? Thomas Paine, in 1776’s Common Sense, said something to the effect that if the impulses of conscience were uniform and irresistibly obeyed, there would be no need for any other lawmaker. That not being the case, Paine goes on to describe the need for the formation of government predicated on the idea that government is going to protect you from people who would otherwise want to take your stuff and treat you unfairly. I prefer that people make good decisions. I like to drink beer on a hot summer day, but I don’t overindulge. I like a good glass of wine when I go out to dinner with my friends. If I have more than two drinks I take a cab or have somebody else drive home. My biggest fear about opening the door to legalization is that I’ve always believed, in spite of some disagreement, that marijuana is a gateway drug. According to everything I read, marijuana is more potent than it has ever been, and I believe that for a lot of people there is at least a minimal psychological, addictive component.

On gay marriage:

 Over the years I have evolved into more of a libertarian when it comes to people’s personal lives. I really don’t care what people do privately. That doesn’t mean I think society needs to change its definition of marriage. I don’t. I’m okay with the way things are. But I don’t think most Americans are tolerant and accepting. I think most people don’t care.

On climate change:

You want the short answer or the long? Either way, I think it’s a crock of shit. I don’t believe it’s true, and I think that people have been put in a state of panic. I think the environmental movement is rooted in a political agenda, which is that capitalism is evil, that people are raping and pillaging the planet for profit. And I think it is rooted in redistribution.

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at jrayfield@salon.com.

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