Will Obama Face Primary Challenge?

Bernie Sanders seeks progressive presidential candidate


This is a rush transcript from "The Five," July 26, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BOB BECKEL, CO-HOST: OK. All right. Good. Look, just to finish up this debt thing.

By the way, Judge, we're going to have a chance to watch this again tonight on your show, right?

JUDGE ANDREW NAPOLITANO, CO-HOST: At eight o'clock on the FOX Business Network, you know, I'm all debt, debt ceiling --

BECKEL: I'm going to be glued to it.

NAPOLITANO: -- not go up.

BECKEL: I'm going to be glued to it.

In the end, Dana, I just want to go a quick round. Will there be an increase in the debt ceiling on August 2nd? Yes or no?



NAPOLITANO: No, absolutely not.



BECKEL: OK, good, Judge, as usual, again, you were the judge and overrule everybody.

Look, there's been talk now -- The Washington Post poll came out today and said that 33 percent of the poll shows that Obama is hurting the economy. Now, 99 percent of those are Republicans, but that means by my calculation, and I was a football player, but that means that 69 percent, or 67 percent, think the Republicans must be hurting or worse.

NAPOLITANO: You're a professional pollster, you know that that --

BECKEL: I want this to go down in history. Dana Perino, I want the tape, she just swore.

PERINO: I did not!

NAPOLITANO: No, she didn't.

PERINO: No, I most certainly did not.

GUTFELD: A hand gesture that was not seen on TV.

PERINO: I said you're a pollster, is that a bad thing?

NAPOLITANO: Can I ask you this?


NAPOLITANO: Is the economy better now than two and a half years ago?

BECKEL: Absolutely.

NAPOLITANO: Nine-point-two percent unemployment?


PERINO: If I were in the White House, I'd think that Washington Post poll was pretty good.

NAPOLITANO: That was really low, I thought it was low.

TANTAROS: You think it's getting better? Bob, I know you stopped drinking a long time ago, but you haven't started again, have you?

BECKEL: No, but that doesn't stop some flashback.

TANTAROS: Maybe that was a flashback, you really think that it's --

BECKEL: Yes. What I have to listen, you all say is stimulus. I'm saying you have to look at the economy and say, what would you have happened if you hadn't spend the stimulus and we've been depression?

NAPOLITANO: We have $4 trillion more in debt than we did before he was president.

BECKEL: Let me scare you, Barack Obama is the greatest economic president since Franklin Roosevelt?


TANTAROS: Now, he's definitely drinking again.

NAPOLITANO: That's the highest of insults, because the two of them believe, contrary to world history you're going to be prosperous by printing money and planting the economy from bureaucrats in Washington and they both were proved absolutely wrong.

BECKEL: You didn't like Franklin Roosevelt either.

NAPOLITANO: Well, I wasn't around.

BECKEL: What do you think about Howdy Doody?


NAPOLITANO: History has taught that he extended the depression by central planning, he didn't cure the depression.

BECKEL: That's why you Italians are so scary when you're giving me a face like that. It scares the hell out of you.


TANTAROS: If the election were held today, Obama would lose.

BECKEL: If the election was held against one of the governors, probably would. But he's not going to lose because these guys -- because the economy --

NAPOLITANO: Who is the best Republican candidate?

BECKEL: Who is the best? Huntsman, he won't get the nomination.

And my ticket personally is Bachmann-Palin and I want to contribute to it.

GUTFELD: Why do you think Bernie Sanders brought up, do you think he's waiting?

BECKEL: Let's get to another important point, and you think it's an important point and our producers did.

NAPOLITANO: What's that?

BECKEL: And that is, there's going to be a potential run against Barack Obama from the Democratic Party. Do you believe that?


NAPOLITANO: I do not believe it will happen. But if it does happen, and you were there when Teddy Kennedy did it to Jimmy Carter, you have an interesting inside story. If you want to reveal it, it will hurt the president. It will divert his energy, it will waste his time --


TANTAROS: He completely controls the party infrastructure. The likelihood of that happening --

NAPOLITANO: It harmed Jimmy Carter severely.

BECKEL: It did. It hurt him a lot, but Bernie Sanders is a senator from Vermont. Your favorite senator, who is a socialist, has made this point, that he should have a challenger, we haven't had this yet and perennially had Ralph Nader. You know, Ralph who is still driving a Corvette-- I mean, a Corvair.

Look --

NAPOLITANO: Russ Feingold.

BECKEL: And how are you going to raise money?

GUTFELD: The whole point of having a challenger is to make Obama look more centrist.

BECKEL: Excuse me. Let's listen to what Bernie Sanders says.

NAPOLITANO: Oh, all right.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, I-VT: One of the reasons the president has been able to move so far to the right is that there is no primary opposition to him. And I think it would do this country a good deal of service if people started thinking about candidates out there to begin contrasting what is a progressive agenda as opposed to what Obama is doing.


BECKEL: Bernie has aged a lot.

NAPOLITANO: He's a bit of a loon for him to say the president has moved to the right.

The president is to the left of Harry Reid. The president is right in the middle of the left wing of his party by wanting to raise taxes on everybody that --

TANTAROS: But politically, for Bernie Sanders --

BECKEL: You're a libertarian and you used the word loon?


BECKEL: Oh, my God!

TANTAROS: Politically, for someone like Bernie Sanders to say something show that the left wing is not energized. So, they have nowhere else to go. We agree on that, they're going go vote for Barack Obama.

But we have independents that aren't going to show up. You have a very un-energized base. You have already his number is slipping with Hispanics and women. So, that's why, Bob --

BECKEL: There are three people on this panel who's had experience doing campaigns and I, of course, had a lot more. But we all know this -- the economy is going to dominate this. A serious challenge by the Republicans within the party, Ronald Reagan in 1976 against Gerald Ford, can hurt you. There will not be a serious run against him.

As far as Barack Obama is concerned, he's got one big huge advantage and that is that he hasn't had a known national Republican run against him.

NAPOLITANO: Aren't you personally aware of liberal members of the House and the Senate who are furious at the president?

BECKEL: I had one of them call me a rotten dirty, blank. I'm not supposed to say this. And I called her up.

NAPOLITANO: They're angry at the president.

BECKEL: Really? Yes. And, you know, you two guys are libertarians and about the only two things I can say that's decent about that, ridiculous, you and-- never mind.

I should end this? OK. We have a lot more to get through. So, stay with us.

Content and Programming Copyright 2011 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2011 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.