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Special Report

2012 Iowa Battle Ground

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," July 20, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHELE BACHMANN, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm prescribed medication th at I take on occasion whenever symptoms arise and they keep my migraines under control. But I'd like to be abundantly clear - my ability to function effectively will not affect -- will not affect my ability to serve as commander in chief.

TIM PAWLENTY, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: As a general proposition for all of the candidates, if you are going to be President of the United States, you gotta be able to do all of the job all of the time.

MITT ROMNEY, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: She and I have differing views I'm sure on some issue. We'll campaign in various states and express our views. But her health should not be an issue in a campaign. I have no question about that in my mind.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: Congresswoman Bachmann's migraines a topic on the campaign trail today. Her campaign sending out this letter from a doctor on Capitol Hill, Brian Monahan, attending physician, saying, quote, "Your migraines occur infrequently, have known trigger factors of which you are aware and know how to avoid. When you do have a migraine, you are able to control it well with the as-needed [medications]."

We're back with the panel. That's where we'll start. Dr. Krauthammer, what about this story?

[LAUGHTER]

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: If the migraines are so injurious to her performance, how come this hasn't been an issue up to now? And yes, what I have seen is several incidents over the last five years reported in which she was incapacitated. Is there anyone among us who over the last five years hasn't been knocked out by some medical condition?

The Pawlenty attack I thought was a cheap shot by his standard. At the job, all the time, every hour. FDR and Kennedy and Eisenhower would not have been people who should have been President of the United States. Kennedy in fact, the sainted Kennedy had Addison's disease. He required heavy medication and back injuries which required even heavier and did affect him far more than apparently has affected - has affected Bachmann.

I think we're going to -- in this day and age, however, she is going to have to disclose what medication, and see if any of them have a psychotropic effect. This is a neurological disease, it's not psychiatric.

BAIER: Juan, big deal?

JUAN WILLIAMS, SENIOR EDITOR, THE HILL: It's a big headache for Tim Pawlenty. The Fox News -- I'm sorry the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll I have in front of me says he is at two percent. Michele Bachmann is at 30 percent -- I'm sorry, 16 percent -- Mitt Romney is at 30 percent. And if you go into Iowa, she is more than doubled his numbers in terms of what is coming up and what will be a definitive race for Tim Pawlenty, because he has got to defeat Michele Bachmann. He has to have a good showing in Iowa in order to put himself to be a challenger for Mitt Romney as he goes into New Hampshire.

So I think that, you know, Charles says he thought it was a little bit of a low blow. I tend to agree. But one last thing on this is just in talking about where the story comes from, it's an indication, she has had a lot of high staff turnover. Some of her staff obviously --

BAIER: Former aides.

WILLIAMS: Former aides, a grudge. And a lot of that stuff people -- she is under scrutiny. And it's starting to show exactly how many enemies she has.

BAIER: Steve, turn topics to Texas Governor Rick Perry who has been flirting with a run and many people are saying it's almost sure to happen. Today he is speaking out that his wife is on board.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. RICK PERRY, R - TX: As my wife was talking to me, saying, listen get out of your comfort zone. Yeah, being governor of Texas is a great job. But sometimes you are called to step into the fray.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BAIER: He's getting close.

STEVE HAYES, SENIOR WRITER, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: Yeah, I think he's more likely to run than not. I do think they are still exploring fundraising possibilities. I think they're making calls to fundraising, they're trying to figure out what kind of a network they can set up to propel him into the race with a serious amount of money.

I mean Mitt Romney is a formidable frontrunner on the money primary and I think Perry wants to be competitive before he decides that he is actually going to jump. But all indication are, the phone calls in Iowa, meetings with New Hampshire folks, all indications are that he is more likely to get in than not.

BAIER: And former Defense officials, including former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, have been helping set up these meeting and briefings apparently in Austin. And they have been going on for several weeks.

HAYES: Yeah, I think more than a month now. So I mean, he is clearly boning up. You're not doing that because he has a little more time as Texas governor.

WILLIAMS: Well, he is a pretty good fundraiser. He has had tremendous success as head of the Republican governors, so if that's the measure. But I think but he is a wonderful mix between establishment and grassroots.

BAIER: Change is the game in Iowa?

KRAUTHAMMER: Yes, I think he enters the first tier automatically. And it becomes something of three-way race, Romney and Perry and whoever emerges out of the pack, looks like Bachmann, but it could be somebody else.

BAIER: That is it for the panel. But stay tuned to see a brand new trend that may be taking the nation by storm.

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