This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," September 6, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS GUEST HOST: In the "Personal Story" segment tonight, Sarah Palin using a Tea Party event in New Hampshire over the weekend to take some shots at President Obama's big government ideology.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH PALIN, FORMER GOVERNOR OF ALASKA: What exactly is Barack Obama's plan? What does he actually seek to accomplish after he's done turning back the waters and healing the planet?
The answer is to make government bigger, to take more of your money and give it to more special interests, and to give you more orders from Washington, and to reduce the strength of America in a dangerous world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: To a lot of people, that sure sounds like a potential presidential contender. But Palin still has not thrown her hat into the ring. And has that train already left the station anyway?
Well, according to a Fox News poll, 70 percent -- 74 percent of Americans don't want Palin to run in 2012. 20 percent think she should run. So what exactly is Sarah Palin up to at this point?
Joining us now from New York, Ann Coulter, author of the big best seller, "Demonic: How the Liberal Mob is Endangering America."
And Ann, this has been a long tease with Sarah Palin, and at some point that tease, I guess, has got to deliver or just go away. What's going to happen here?
ANN COULTER, AUTHOR, "DEMONIC": Maybe not. Newt Gingrich carried it on for about 15 years, and I kind of think that might be what we're getting here. Largely because of the polls.
I mean, you just showed the Fox News poll. Gallup took a poll, I don't know, five-six months ago, showing that not quite as high as 74 percent, but 65 percent said that they would never definitely, positively, ever vote for Sarah Palin.
Now, you know, anyone who's going to run for president is going to be doing his own polling, or in this case, her own polling, and so it doesn't seem -- it doesn't seem likely that with those numbers she would run. And it doesn't really matter, I might add, that, oh, it's the media's fault and they attacked her and they saw her as a threat, all of which I believe is true.
Nonetheless, yet and still it has worked, and most Americans don't want Sarah Palin for president. But she's become sort of the Obama of the Tea Party. She's just "The One" to a certain segment of right wingers. And the tiniest criticism of her -- I think many of your viewers may not know this. No conservative on TV will criticize Palin, because they don't want to deal with the hate mail. You know, you say her voice is a few octaves too high or perhaps Michele Bachmann's speaking voice is more modulated, and you will be inundated with enraged e-mails and letters.
INGRAHAM: Ann, that's just because you and I have really low voices. OK? So we can't even -- we can't both be higher voiced.
But at some point, in all seriousness, I think the country is looking for, look, people like Palin to show up at these events and whip up the crowd. There's a place for that.
INGRAHAM: I think we need that. But people -- when I talk to them, they seem to be desperate and hungry more so than ever for real substance beyond kind of the sloganeering and the bumper sticker stuff and Obama is driving the country down. That's all good, and that's all true, but that's like kind of like Paul Ryan or Chris Christie or even today, Mitt Romney. I mean, his jobs plan that he laid out, went after China, big on energy independence. It was very substantive.
INGRAHAM: And I don't know if that's going to help him out or not, but I think people want to chew over that stuff. She had to do more of that heavy lifting on the policy stuff, I think, to be taken seriously. I just simply think she's not all that interested in it. And I like Sarah Palin, but I don't think she seems all that interested in digging really, really deep on that stuff. That's just my take on that.
COULTER: No, I agree, and I think -- I think she's terrific at what she does, but I -- I tend to agree with you. And I got sick of it with Newt Gingrich, too. You know, fish or cut bait here, because you are ginning up this group of Americans who will not even consider anyone else.
You know, we used to all love Sarah Palin, conservatives like me, for her enemies. I'm starting to dislike her because of her fans. And she does get things wrong. She wouldn't have to. I think she's bright, but she doesn't -- her good points do not seem to be in the direction of running for president. Just like Newt Gingrich, you just go ahead and run so we can get this over with.
INGRAHAM: And Ann, Chris Christie, I know you like him a lot and some other folks who haven't got into this race, but given how bad things are in the country right now, I mean, the polls that we just referenced previous segment, 70 percent plus of the country thinking we're on the wrong track.
INGRAHAM: Consumer confidence at an all-time low. Obama is in the toilet with his numbers.
INGRAHAM: We need these people who are smart to be in this race.
INGRAHAM: And I actually think it's borderline irresponsible.
INGRAHAM: If you can win the presidency and take these people down, you've got to get in the race. Even if I don't like people like Jeb Bush. I mean, get in the race. I mean, if you can beat him, get in the race.
COULTER: I would follow up with that by saying, because there is an incorrect statement that is often made by -- by many conservatives out there. Yes, it's true that liberals will accuse some Republicans of being unelectable, just because they don't want to face those Republicans. But that doesn't mean there's no such thing as unelectable.
And similarly, yes, it's true, that liberals will call even smart conservatives stupid. That doesn't mean when a liberal calls you stupid, it proves you're smart. You have to do something else to prove you're smart.
There is such a thing as electable. And Republicans and conservatives ought to be focused on that like a laser beam, because I agree Obama has a glass jar and we've got to get this guy out if we want to turn the country around.
INGRAHAM: What do you make of Perry, Ann? He's really jumped out ahead, I think further than even strong conservatives were predicting. They thought it was going to be Bachmann and Perry fighting it out for a while. But now it seems like, at least for the time being, a two-man race.
COULTER: Yes, it does. I think it shows unease with the frontrunner, Mitt Romney. And I suppose we're going to see more in the next week or so. People tend to put all their hopes and dreams in a candidate when he first throws his hat in a ring, and then you see a little bit more of him, you'll find out more about him.
He's not very good on illegal immigration. He attacked the Arizona law. He supported in-state tuition for illegal aliens. He opposes a border fence. And so on and so forth. That's a big issue for most conservatives. And they're probably completely unaware of what Perry's position is. So I expect some of those numbers will be going down.
INGRAHAM: Yes, his points on China today, Mitt Romney's points on China, I thought were excellent, and we need to see more of that from Romney. But you're right, it's very early. We'll wait and see. Ann, great to see you.