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Laura Ingraham on Weiner Resignation, Romney and Bachmann Surging in New Poll

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," June 16, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the week in review from "The Ingraham Angle" segment tonight: plenty to talk about, so let's get right to the radio talk show star and Fox News analyst, who joins us from Washington. All right, Laura. I've got to -- I've got to give you, what, a minute on Colmes. I mean, what do you think is going on there?

LAURA INGRAHAM, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Actually, Bill, I was listening to you guys, and so I went on the Internet and I was just surfing a little bit. Did you -- this was already news. You were breaking it but you didn't know. The show -- the new radio show is going to be called "Depravity and Colmes." So it's done. I mean, I -- you were ahead of the curve. That's a pretty good idea. All right. Either that or take over the other slot on CNN because that's the trajectory.

O'REILLY: Did you see Colmes' expression when I suggested he hire Weiner as a co-host? You have got to freeze-frame that at home everyone.

INGRAHAM: Actually, he didn't care for that at all, Bill. It's going to be on the Syfy channel later on tonight. I love Alan. I love the fact that he came on.

O'REILLY: He's the greatest guy. And people don't understand he is a really good guy but…

INGRAHAM: I love Alan.

O'REILLY: …the logic here is so insane. You just can't run a country with lies and, oh yes, he lied about -- you just can't. You can't do it.

INGRAHAM: Look, people watch this, Bill, and I think they say, well, this is horrible behavior. I don't think, sadly, people are all that surprised by it anymore, which is really sad. And I think they see lies across the board on the economy. Shovel-ready, it's not shovel ready. It's going to help the economy. We are going to spend $860 billion on the stimulus. It's going to juice unemployment. We're going to get people back to work.

O'REILLY: Yes, but not like this.

INGRAHAM: They see lies across the board. This just happens to be a really graphic one.

O'REILLY: This was -- I can't think of anything that really competes with this. Calling reporters into your office, setting them up and then just, come on.

INGRAHAM: No. No. I think, you know, he had coffee and lattes for them and trying to ply them with Starbucks. Wasn't that what happened? It's all very odd.

O'REILLY: Let's get to this Rasmussen poll. Very interesting poll after the Republican debate. Put up the screen. These are likely Republican primary voters, all right? People who are going to make the decisions in the early months of 2012. So Romney surges at 33; Michele Bachmann does very well at 19; Herman Cain moves up a few points, 10; Gingrich, 9; Paul, 7; Pawlenty, 6, stayed where he is; and Santorum, 6. Your analysis of that?

INGRAHAM: Yes. I think in the debate -- look, I don't know how many people watched the debate. I don't think all that many. But I think the sense of the country is that we need both passion, substance, someone who is a happy warrior, right? We have a lot of kind of sourpusses out there. America is on the decline and America is going down the tubes. People might think that, but they don't want their leaders to evoke that in the way they approach the issues. I think Romney came across kind of like the CEO-in-chief. Very stable, very knowledgeable during the debates. And Michele Bachmann came across fiery, smart, with passion and some grace and some charm. I think both of them did really well. It doesn't surprise me that Michele Bachmann surged and that Romney came out very well. Both of them did terrific.

O'REILLY: OK, but here's the question. Among talk radio hosts -- some of them, not all of them in the conservative precincts -- there is a loathing for Romney. And I heard it today when I was listening to some of those programs. They just don't like him. He is not a conservative ideologue. They want a much more conservative person on the social issues than he is.

INGRAHAM: Yes.

O'REILLY: And all of that. But the folks, and again, this is a poll of Republican likely primary voters. These are the people that are involved, all right?

INGRAHAM: Yes.

O'REILLY: They are saying, you know what? Maybe this time around we put that on the shelf because we got to get rid of what we have now economically. I think that's what's going on.

INGRAHAM: We want a steady hand.

O'REILLY: Who is we? Who is we?

INGRAHAM: I'm just saying we. I think Americans want a steady, sure hand in running the economy. I don't know if Obama can get re-elected. Maybe he can. But I think that when they see someone like a Romney for now and this could change. Right now they see Romney as someone who has an enormous amount of business experience, knows what it is to start a business, knows what it is to run a company and to see economic growth, to foster economic growth. He comes across as an adult.

O'REILLY: So you haven't been bashing Romney on your program?

INGRAHAM: No. I supported Romney last time around.

O'REILLY: Are you taking any heat from Tea Party people calling you up and telling you…

INGRAHAM: No. Not really. I think some people like him and some people don't. I think there is some antipathy toward Romney for a variety of reasons. I tend to think -- I disagree with those people who are saying the candidates are all, you know, really boring. They are -- there's a dearth of talent. I just disagree with that. There might not be the razzle-dazzle quotient that the Obamas brought to the stage. But I think a lot of people are saying maybe we need a little less razzle-dazzle and a little more substance.

O'REILLY: Absolutely saying that this time around. OK. Now, Newt Gingrich is not doing well. He's not going to win the nomination. But he got angry about some attacks on his wife and here's what he said. Go.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEWT GINGRICH (R), REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE: I thought NBC this morning in a program that had nobody on camera, nobody quoted by name, they quoted reporters talking anonymously about cowardly people who frankly lied about my wife, and I believe NBC owes Callista an apology. The fact is my campaign is my campaign. Yes, we make decisions as a couple, but in the end, I take full responsibility.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: I'm sorry. I misspoke. That was on Greta last night, not this morning. What he's talking about is that he had his people, a lot of people quit on him. And they said, well, he wasn't really taking it seriously. He's on a cruise with his wife. That was what that was in response to. Was that a smart thing for the former speaker to do?

INGRAHAM: Look, I understand his impulse and it's a gallant one to defend his wife, and we all love that about men defending us. That's great. For a politician, especially a Republican politician, to get mad at the press, there is no real win in that. There is no real benefit to it. Again, I understand the impulse. I don't think it wins Gingrich anything.

O'REILLY: There has been a benefit to Sarah Palin though. Her feistiness and striking back at the detractors who came after her, that's helped her.

INGRAHAM: Yes. Right. But she is not a candidate, and I think it's different. When you are running for office, I'm not sure that that's the way to go. Remember, I think of the happy warriors. I think of Reagan. I think of the way he approached these issues. The press was always coming after him, making fun of Nancy and the astrology, all this stuff. China and all this stuff. He just ignored it. And he didn't have Fox. He didn't have talk radio. He didn't have the Internet or any of these independent voices out there. I think that's the better approach. Again, I understand it…

O'REILLY: That's a very good point, I think, you just made about Reagan and how he handled all the smear stuff directed at him. Laura, as always, thank you very much.

INGRAHAM: Thanks, Bill.

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