Laura Ingraham on Gingrich vs Romney

Commentator analyzes the latest attacks on the two GOP front-runners


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," December 1, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: Now for the "Top Story" tonight, reaction from the "Ingraham" angle joining us from Washington, radio talk show star Fox News analyst, Laura Ingraham. So what about that Ron Paul ad?

LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS ANALYST: Well, he… he came on my radio show today Bill, and I asked him about it and he repeated the charge that it's... it is clear in that ad that he thinks Newt Gingrich is something of a hypocrite. That Newt Gingrich will... will sort of barge into a scene and start spouting ideas that may or may not conflict with previous positions he had and a lot of them, this is according to Paul, are very grandiose, but in the end, what Ron Paul has said is that they're not particularly conservative.

Now, that's going to be the hit from someone like a Ron Paul and meanwhile, you see people like Chris Christie who are coming out as surrogates for Mitt Romney and saying look, he never ran anything. We saw what happened when we had another guy in the White House who was a consummate legislator, but never ran anything. And of course, he was talking about Barack Obama.

So the heat is being turned up on Gingrich as Mitt Romney thought this was going to be just of a kind of a jovial and even-keeled holiday season. But it's turning out to be anything but for the Romney campaign.

O'REILLY: I don't quite understand Paul. And you know he's... instead of saying look, I'm better than Newt Gingrich, this is why in an ad. he tries to take Gingrich out.

INGRAHAM: Well, he has to, though. He has to, he has to, Bill.

O'REILLY: You know this is, this is, well I don't know about that.

INGRAHAM: Well, I think he has to because Ron Paul has hit kind of a ceiling, at least so far, in his support. So if he's going to have any chance of having a conservative resurgence toward his candidacy, Newt Gingrich can't be the guy who sails into Iowa...

O'REILLY: No but the way... the way Paul is doing it is very vicious, it's very personal, calling him names.


O'REILLY: He's a hypocrite, he's this, he's that. And I don't... I got to say, I don't think conservative Republicans are going to respond to that kind of an attack on another conservative Republican.

INGRAHAM: Yes. Well, I think... I think it's kind of... it's kind of what Ron Paul has to do. I think Ron... everyone knows what Ron Paul stands for. He's been very clear in what he stands for, his economic policy. And in order to shake it up at this point, remember, we have about two and a half weeks before people really start focusing on Christmas and the holidays.

So you don't have a lot of time. So people have to make their inroads pretty quickly.

O'REILLY: All right.

Now, the left obviously you expect them to go after Gingrich and Romney, whoever is going to be a threat to President Obama. But the label that… that Romney is going to have to deal with, and we saw this with Bret Baier, is the flip-flop, the flip-flop label. Ok? And that's going to be on him now until he dies. He's never going to get rid of it.

So what should he do, whether it's a Republican coming after him or a Democrat coming after him about that?

INGRAHAM: Look, the pieces of tape out there, some of them are more fair than others and I think fact check on "Washington Post" did a really good job of going through that recent DNC attack on Romney as a flip- flopper.

But nevertheless, I mean, he has evolved and he's admitted it on... on positions that he's taken on life, other stuff on assault weapons ban and things like that. But he has to move the conversation quickly, Bill, to the nation in crisis, the nation is rudderless today in a global economic meltdown potential.

I'm the best one to guide us through that and to make sure that this next century, as he said this week, is the American century. He's got to pivot to where his strengths are, which is to manage in a crisis. He knows how to do that. Those are his strengths. He has all the stuff to do it.

O'REILLY: Yes but I don't know that he knows how to do that more than Newt Gingrich does. I mean it's going to be, look, you got two guys who basically say I'm the smartest guy in the room. They're both going to say that. I'm the smartest guy in the room, I can turn this around. If I were Governor Romney, I would kind of try to make light of the flip-flop thing because what he came across...


O'REILLY: ...with Bret Baier is he's testy.

INGRAHAM: Well that was... no, no, no. Bill I mean, you and I talked about this. I mean I don't see how people think at this point with... with your show and others that it's a good idea to go up to an anchor as fair and as also nice -- I don't say that in a mean way... but nice as Bret Baier, he's fair to everyone to go up and kind of say, that was uncalled for.

I mean he... you have to know that that anchor, whoever it is...

O'REILLY: Well, that's what I'm talking about. Romney has got to stop that. He's got to accept the fact that the flip-flop label is going to be on him and Gingrich...


O'REILLY: going o have to accept the label of baggage on him. And Gingrich has done pretty well with that. I mean, he basically says look, I converted to Catholicism, I'm a different person now.

INGRAHAM: Well, he also has policies. Right but he also has policies, yes.

O'REILLY: And so does Romney. Romney has policy too.

INGRAHAM: Yes they've... DNC ad on Mitt Romney as a flip-flopper, Ron Paul ad on Newt Gingrich as... as an evolver in his position. So both of those are out there. The question for conservatives who are watching this show tonight is are either of these candidates really kind of the... the... the people you want to carry that mantle forward of... of Reagan conservatism?

Is it Gingrich with... with his kind of big idea conservatism sitting on the couch with Nancy Pelosi, said that was a mistake, but that was a... that was a pretty significant ad. Or is it Mitt Romney from Massachusetts who come to think from kind of a different perspective...

O'REILLY: I think what it's going to come down for Republican voters is whether they're going to put the economy above ideology because you're looking at a hard core conservative Gingrich and a moderate conservative with Romney. And that they never are going to be able to change that. That's who they are.

INGRAHAM: Oh ok but Entrade, Bill.

Bill, Entrade I have to say Entrade.

O'REILLY: Entrade.

INGRAHAM: Tonight has... has Mitt Romney down at 47 percent.

O'REILLY: From 70.

INGRAHAM: That's about 23 percent drop from the last time we talk.

O'REILLY: Right, right, well listen, you got to give it to Newt Gingrich. His surge has been impressive.


O'REILLY: Laura, thank you.

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