By Laura Ingraham
Hi everyone. I'm Laura Ingraham and I'm in for Bill O'Reilly thanks for watching us tonight.
The state of the GOP race; that's the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo". On the "Today Show" this week Matt Lauer asked me if and when conservative will put their ideology aside and focus on electability.
Now, understandably the Romney campaign hopes voters choose the pragmatism and experience over conservatism. And Rick Santorum and Gingrich believe true conservatism and electability go hand in hand. I spoke at CPAC a short while ago and many conservatives there seem a little bit worried about this divide. They worry that the GOP is about to blow its opportunity to defeat President Obama.
But I have to say I think all this anxiety is a bit misplaced. Let's not forget that in 2008 Democrats were genuinely divided between those who wanted to stick with the Clintons and those who wanted to go with Obama.
Now, that dispute took months to resolve but when it was over, the Clinton supporters they had to admit that they had been given a fair hearing.
Now, it's the GOP that has its own very important issues to decide. Some of these are substantive. The conservatives think that the country has serious fiscal problems that need to be addressed right away. And they also think Obama care is a time bomb that could destroy our healthcare system while moderates think that our problems, they are big, but they are not quite that severe.
There are also differences with respect to political tactics. Most conservatives think that the GOP needs to draw clear philosophical distinctions with Obama and also debate him on first principles. Most establishment types think that the GOP should focus on issues of competence and management.
Unfortunately, GOP voters haven't gotten the real debate on these issues that they deserve. There have been way too many distractions over things like Herman Cain's personal life or Newt Gingrich's space policy or the HPV vaccine.
It's way past time for the remaining candidates to have serious, respectful, thoughtful discussions about the real differences that divide them. Tea Partiers need to realize that a lot of establishment people, they are patriots, too. And they are just trying to build a better country. As to the establishment types, they need to see that many Tea Partiers are sophisticated enough to understand today's political reality.
So if each side learns to get past the stereotypes and take the other side more seriously. I think the GOP will be stronger. And the candidate it finally selects will then have a real chance to win in November.
And that's "The Memo."
Pinheads & Patriots.
Thousands of conservatives are gathering this weekend in Washington, D.C., for the annual Conservative Political Action Conference where yours truly delivered a speech just a few hours ago.
But yesterday, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann took the stage to explain what she learned while running for president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: I learned three things when I was running for president.
First of all, I learned where John Wayne was born. That's very important.
And then second, I learned the day that Elvis Presley was born. These are vital issues to our republic.
And third, I learned never forget the three things that you learned. Very important when you're running for president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: For being able to provide a little bit of levity after a grueling presidential primary campaign, Michele Bachmann is a patriot.
— You can catch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Pinheads & Patriots" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the Fox News Channel and any time on foxnews.com/oreilly. Send your comments to: email@example.com.