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Huckabee Denies Romney Beef

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," May 20, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Personal Story" segment tonight: With Mike Huckabee out of the race, some conservative Republicans like Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin are looking hard at a presidential run. But according to Dick Morris, the man who gained the most by Huckabee's "won't run" announcement is Mitt Romney. That may be ironic because Governor Huckabee is not a real big fan of Governor Romney. The Fox News weekend host joins us now. That's not a personal deal between you and him, is it?

MIKE HUCKABEE, FOX NEWS HOST: No. We have some very strong philosophical differences on some things, but I've made it very clear, Bill. If Mitt Romney is the nominee, I'm going to be out there…

O'REILLY: But you know when I was watching the debates, I just thought that you felt -- and you correct me if I'm wrong…

HUCKABEE: Yes.

O'REILLY: …you felt that he talked down to you.

HUCKABEE: I think there was some of that.

O'REILLY: A-ha. See how perceptive I am, Governor?

HUCKABEE: You are very perceptive, Bill.

O'REILLY: I was there, Governor, and I said, you know, Huckabee is getting a little teed off here because he thinks Romney is being condescending.

HUCKABEE: There's nothing that irritates me more than if someone sort of gives me that feeling of well, you are not really that significant. So I'll just say OK, here we go.

O'REILLY: Well, it was more than that though and I'm not -- I'm not saying that Huckabee -- that Romney did this. But it's something like here is the Southern governor…

HUCKABEE: Yes.

O'REILLY: …and here's the Northern governor and the Northern governor is getting a little haughty and you didn't like it very much.

HUCKABEE: Oh, that's probably some of it. But a lot of it was on issues. I felt like that there was a lack of authenticity on the sanctity of life issue and on the same-sex marriage issue and on the gun issue, issues that really matter to people in the Midwest and in the South.

O'REILLY: So you think he's a phony?

HUCKABEE: No, I didn't say that.

O'REILLY: You said lack of authenticity.

HUCKABEE: Lack of authenticity.

O'REILLY: See, where I come from…

HUCKABEE: You're a long calendar, Bill, and you can just…

O'REILLY: Where you come from in Arkansas, lack of authenticity is a phony, too.

HUCKABEE: We say -- we say bless his heart. He didn't fully understand…

O'REILLY: Yes.

HUCKABEE: When you hear a Southerner say bless his heart…

O'REILLY: Run.

HUCKABEE: …that's it.

O'REILLY: Get out of there.

HUCKABEE: That's the big deal right there.

O'REILLY: OK.

HUCKABEE: But listen, we've made peace. Mitt Romney is going to be a very strong candidate. And I'm telling you now: He'll be a better president on any day than Barack Obama. If he's the nominee, I'm going to be out there supporting him.

O'REILLY: All right. Now, why would a guy like Mitt Romney, who does have as you pointed out a little flip-flopper reputation, be able to go to Vegas in one day raise more than $10 million. That's impressive.

HUCKABEE: Political money is all about perception of who is going to win. The reason I had such a hard time getting money four years ago was because people didn't think I had a chance. If they think you have a chance, you suddenly start getting money. Once I ended up winning the sweep of states in the Super Tuesday, I won in Iowa, and then I had about seven states on Super Tuesday, I raised more money in less than a month than I had raised in the previous 13.

O'REILLY: Now, is Morris right that you dropping out Romney benefits big time from this?

HUCKABEE: It could. But it also could help Michele Bachmann; it could help Tim Pawlenty. It could be a big boost to Herman Cain. I don't think there is any heir apparent to the people who supported me. I do believe that all of them have a chance to scramble for those votes.

O'REILLY: Because Romney is not a doctrinaire conservative as you are. He's not.

HUCKABEE: No, I think he is more the business end of the party.

O'REILLY: Right. That's how he's got to run, America's CEO.

HUCKABEE: Exactly. He has to sort of distance himself from saying, look, I am more pro-life than, because that's what I think hurt him last time. People knew that that's really not the strength he had.

O'REILLY: No, they didn't buy it. Right.

HUCKABEE: No, they didn't buy it.

O'REILLY: OK.

HUCKABEE: But he can run as a strong business person. That's his -- that's his strong suit.

O'REILLY: Now, you have put out a series of DVDs. I guess there is one out now, but there are more to come. Is that right?

HUCKABEE: There's a Ronald Reagan one. There's also a World War II. And there's a whole series, there will dozens of them over the course of the next few years for children and it's called "Learn Our History." And it's to tell American children that America is a good country. What a novel idea.

O'REILLY: OK, noble country. That's the way I was taught history. But it's gone now. You know that.

HUCKABEE: Yes.

O'REILLY: Secular authorities have kind of boiled it down. In fact, in many school districts we're a bad country now. Tucson, Arizona, having big trouble with that. So you put out these cartoons. How long are they?

HUCKABEE: Each one of them last about 30 minutes. It's designed for kids. But here's the little secret.

O'REILLY: Seven to what?

HUCKABEE: Seven and up. I enjoyed it. I actually learned some things about World War II. I think one of the things that shocked me when I found out that 25 percent of children in America at high school age, 25 percent knew who the first president was; 75 percent of high school seniors in a survey did not know that George Washington was the first president.

O'REILLY: Wait, 75 percent of high school seniors…

HUCKABEE: Did not know that George…

O'REILLY: Didn't know that Washington…

HUCKABEE: No, they didn't. Our kids don't know our history, Bill.

O'REILLY: Unbelievable.

HUCKABEE: How can you know our future if you don't know our past?

O'REILLY: I'm with you. I'm a former history teacher. All right. So where do you get these DVDs?

HUCKABEE: Well, it's "Learn Our History". If you go to LearnOurHistory.org you'll find or .com, there you will…

O'REILLY: LearnOurHistory -- one word -- .com.

HUCKABEE: Right.

O'REILLY: The left is saying that you are slanting the historical lesson for the kids in a conservative way.

HUCKABEE: You know what? It's interesting that of liberal parents, 91 percent of liberal parents out of a focus group who watched the video said they would buy them for their kids or grandkids; 91 percent of liberals. So it is slanted. But here is what it is slanted for. It's slanted to tell people that America is not some racist Islamophobic nation. That it is a good and decent nation created, blessed and perpetuated by God and that we shouldn't apologize for our history. It's not to try to indoctrinate. It's to try to educate. That is a good thing.

O'REILLY: All right. Governor, thanks very much. We appreciate it. And we will be using the governor throughout the primary season to give us insights into all the candidates. It should be interesting.

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