Is Rick Perry Avoiding 'The Factor'?

O'Reilly and Ingraham discuss GOP presidential candidate's media strategy, falling poll numbers


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," September 29, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Impact" segment tonight: Governor Rick Perry falling in the polls. A new Fox News survey out yesterday has Mitt Romney at 23 percent among likely Republican voters, Rick Perry 19 percent, down 10 points in less than a month, and Herman Cain at 17 percent, a very good showing for him. Perhaps Miller's endorsement last night did it. Oh, wait, that was after the poll.

Now we have tried to get Governor Perry to come on "The Factor." He told me himself he would, but we cannot get a timeframe from his people. It seems to me the governor would benefit by going on high-profile programs to state his case directly to you without eight other people on the stage.

One person who did manage to convince Perry to go on her program is Laura Ingraham, who joins us now from Washington. How did you do it? How did you get -- how did you get Perry?

LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Bill, you just have to get better bookers. I mean, come on. Jesse, Dan, Amy, who was making the calls for you guys?

O'REILLY: They're -- they're the best in the business. You know our people are the best. How did you get him to come on your show?

INGRAHAM: They are the best. Well, we sent a Teddy Gram, you know those teddy bears, the American made. We sent all sort of candy, chocolate, fruit baskets.

O'REILLY: So you bribed him? You bribed him.

INGRAHAM: Seriously. If you send a new cowboy hat, those Texans will do anything.

O'REILLY: But don't you think -- don't you think with his poor polls across the board that the governor should take his case to the people?

INGRAHAM: Well, I think he will come on with you. I have no doubt about it. And I -- I don't know why he hasn't coming on -- come on earlier. I do think the Perry campaign right now is in a hunker-down mode, right? They're -- they're trying to fill his head with as much stuff as possible and get him ready for the October 11 debate. He obviously had a -- a rather poor showing in the last debate. No surprise there given everything that we saw and how it played out. He didn't look sure on his feet. He didn't look all that confident. He looked like a different person from the guy who made the speech down at Liberty University, right? Where he looked -- he was very confident, and knew what he wanted to say and he seemed a bit off his game to say the least.

O'REILLY: Yes, but there is a difference between making a speech in front of a friendly crowd at Liberty.

INGRAHAM: Sure, yes, you have to perform. He has to perform, Bill.

O'REILLY: And go -- and going to a debate. But look, I don't -- I just don't understand, I've been doing this for 15 years.


O'REILLY: A guy like Rick Perry has got to get known. He's got to get known. People don't know who he is if they don't live in Texas, all right.

INGRAHAM: And Bill -– Bill.

O'REILLY: You don't get known by debates with eight other people. That's not how you get known. You get known by going on the Laura Ingraham program, going on the "O'Reilly" TV program. Any program where you're going to get a fair shake. Now, would I go over to MSNBC? No. That's ridiculous.

INGRAHAM: No, no audience. But I think -- I think he will come on with you, Bill. And -- and look.

O'REILLY: But why hasn't he so far? Because it's almost too late. His poll numbers are -- he can make a comeback.

INGRAHAM: Look, well, no it's not almost too late. But with all due respect he can do -- he can do well.

O'REILLY: But it's not going to be easy.

INGRAHAM: October 11, he comes out. He -- he gives the performance of his life, which he has to do and also on the 18th. He has to perform. Look, if you go into an interview -- and Sarah Palin ran into this, right, unfair edits and so forth maybe, but she ran into it with Katie Couric. You've got to emerge from these interviews with Matt Lauers, Katie Courics and frankly tough interviewers like you and you've got to emerge strong, confident and almost the victor. You -- you can't be the punch line for the next day. It's not going to work. He's got to come out strong. If he -- if he can't make it through the O'Reilly buzz saw, he's not going to make it through the Barack Obama billion-dollar campaign buzz saw.

O'REILLY: Well, we'd like -- we'd like for him to come on I think sooner rather than later because it just makes it harder for him. And I'm not rooting for anybody. But it -- if the governor is watching this evening, the more you stay away at this juncture when you're on the decline, the harder it's going to be to climb back. You've got to -- you've got to speak directly to the folks.

INGRAHAM: And Bill, look at what a teddy bear you were with -- with Jon Stewart, you know telling him you want to pay 40 percent taxes. I mean, you were -- you were so great there. You were intimidating Stewart. He didn't know about the $16 muffin, which I'm sure that's what they hand out at their production meetings. But then you say you want to pay 40 percent taxes.

O'REILLY: I don't want to. I said I would be willing to do it.


O'REILLY: If the government would run efficiently because I love my country.

INGRAHAM: That's going to happen.

O'REILLY: We owe $14.5 trillion. If I got to pay four percent more to get -- well look I'm not -- I'm not saying it's going to happen. I'm saying that if I were in charge of efficiency and I hired you, that we could probably get it down.

INGRAHAM: You wouldn't need to…

O'REILLY: And then if I -- if I have to pay four percent more to get my country's debt down, I'd be willing do it. I don't think that's unreasonable.

INGRAHAM: But you know they're never going to do that. Right, they're never going to do that. They're not going to use your extra four percent to put -- pay down the debt. They're going to use it for crazy programs like Solyndra, which you pointed out.

O'REILLY: So that's why I opposed it. And that's why I'm trying to convince Stewart that he's a pinhead for supporting it because you're right. The way it stands now, it's just more money going out the window being wasted.

INGRAHAM: It's ridiculous.

O'REILLY: Now, I know -- I know…

INGRAHAM: By the way, do you have something against, yes, Herman Cain? My radio listeners say you don't like Herman Cain. What's going on with that?

O'REILLY: I love Herman Cain. I think we're going to Vegas together after the election.

INGRAHAM: Are you?

O'REILLY: We're going to -- wouldn't you like to hang around with Herman Cain?

INGRAHAM: I love Herman Cain.

O'REILLY: I'd love to hang around with Herman Cain.

INGRAHAM: I'd like to see a debate between him and Obama.

O'REILLY: I'm not going to do it before the election. I mean, but Herman Cain is the kind of guy I like.

INGRAHAM: Well, he's a traditional conservative.

O'REILLY: However, it is my job -- it is my job not to root for anybody and to tell the people the truth. Herman Cain is not going to get the Republican nomination.

INGRAHAM: OK, but -- Bill, I -- I have said that myself, but you have to admit, the surge for Cain…

O'REILLY: Is very good, I like it.

INGRAHAM: …is very interesting and it tells us something.

O'REILLY: It shows us something.

INGRAHAM: It tells us something about what's going on with this electorate.

O'REILLY: He's a straight talker. His 999 deal is at least creative. It makes people think. It was a brilliant stroke to introduce that. I like a lot of what Herman Cain brings to the table.


O'REILLY: But when he was on with me, he didn't really know much about foreign affairs, foreign policy. That's going to be important coming up. So I've got to be honest about those situations.

INGRAHAM: Yes, well, he's got to bone up on that. But -- but you hear Obama is trying to copy him. He was a 19-19-19 plan. So he thought the nine thing was good, a little higher.

O'REILLY: All right. Ms. Laura Ingraham, everyone. There she is.

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