'The Five' Looks Ahead to New Hampshire

What will Santorum's strategy be and will McCain's Romney endorsement have an impact?


This is a rush transcript from "The Five," January 4, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BOB BECKEL, CO-HOST: That election yesterday was all right with me.

All right, they are going to look at what happened today and what happened today was the Republican presidential candidate from 2008, John McCain, had an endorsement today. We got a SOT.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, R-ARIZ.: I am really here for one reason and one reason only. That is to make sure that we make Mitt Romney the next president of the United States of America, and New Hampshire -- and New Hampshire is the state will catapult him on to victory in a very short period of time. That's why I am here.


BECKEL: Well, OK. I'll reserve my comments. Does it help or hurt Mitt Romney?

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: I think it does not help him with conservatives at all. Don't forget, John McCain suspended his 2008 campaign to rush back to D.C. so he could pass TARP. And TARP has become the conservative bull's eye. All the things you don't want -- bigger government, more spending, taxing, redistribution.

McCain's endorsement goes nowhere for Romney as far as conservatives.

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: I don't think it hurts him. It might not help him so much, but any endorsement doesn't hurt. But politics is a funny thing. These were bitter rivals three years ago.

And today, McCain puts -- forgiveness is an amazing thing in politics. And to be able to set that aside and I think, one thing about McCain is that he is sincere and authentic. Genuine.

So, when he gets up there, I think he actually means it. But I don't think it necessarily helps or hurts.


KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE, CO-HOST: He is genuine about it. I think it's the right thing to do, and I think for him to do, because Romney did bow out. People were questioning later whether he got out of the race last time too soon. And he went ahead and cleared the way for McCain. And now, the gentleman has repaid the favor.

BOLLING: And also endorsing campaign for McCain.

GUILFOYLE: Absolutely. Absolutely. Pay back.

ANDREA TANTAROS, CO-HOST: I think it helps him a little in New Hampshire if he goes on, it would help him in states like Arizona.

But I got to agree with you. I think the conservatives when McCain was on the ticket, they rolled their eyes thought oh, jeez, because he's crossed over so many times. And that's the same way they're feeling about Mitt Romney.

So, again, he needs conservative support. He needs Tea Party support. That's who Romney needs to get.

GUILFOYLE: A Bachmann or a Perry.

BECKEL: Let's keep in mind about New Hampshire. New Hampshire is a much different state than Iowa. That's the reason they often split the outcome.

New Hampshire is a much more secular state, much more concerned about the economic issues, much less value oriented. In fact, they probably have the largest pro-choice Republican base in New Hampshire, because the motto is live free or die.

But I think that McCain -- remember, he won in 2000 and 2008 in that state. So, he's got a lot of goodwill. If he could do nothing else for Romney than to help Romney hold his 40 percent he has got now, which is what -- if Romney -- Romney doesn't need to get any more votes. He needs to hold on to what he's got there.

I think that McCain probably will help him some. But here's the thing. I don't mean this to be mean at all. But John McCain was not known as an electrifying speaker. He looked electrifying compared to Romney.


BECKEL: You just cannot -- you can't mold --

GUILFOYLE: He was exciting.

BECKEL: Romney has got a lot of things going for him. He's got money. But what he doesn't have is a personality that's going to attack people. I don't --

PERINO: But I think if Santorum was the conservative choice, he would have been the conservative choice a long time ago before. I mean, he's running for a year.

BOLLING: I am just going to make a point that McCain, when he was running, what did he do? He picked Sarah Palin because she had the fire.

She had the more conservative basis.

GUILFOYLE: So, Romney needs someone like that.

BECKEL: I'm much worse on Santorum. We have the Santorum comments he made about the working class people.


RICK SANTORUM, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They were towns that were center around manufacturing and process. Those good jobs that built those towns. We found those jobs leaving Iowa. Why? It's because government made workers competitive, by driving up the cost of doing business here. So when Republican purists say to me why are you treating manufacturing different than retail? I say because Wal-Mart is not moving to China and taking their jobs with them.


BECKEL: I'd say -- let me -- Andrea made this point before. Let me say this about Rick Santorum. He -- to pivot as well as he did on that message, he was -- that was really smart and good. Fact is that's where he comes from. He came out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in the Mango valley which runs up above Pittsburgh where there is devastation in manufacturing.

He went through it and lived through it and he understands it. And it's another state in the union, these are northern part of the state is New Hampshire. I think he has a good message there. His message frankly also about Wal-Mart was well positioned if you think about it. Because Romney is the kind of guy who defends Wal-Mart.

GUILFOYLE: I think he made it on purpose.

PERINO: Why would you not defend Wal-Mart?

BECKEL: Because they ship good paying jobs overseas and destroy small businesses across in the nation. Outside of that, a lovely group of punks.

TANTAROS: His zero percent tax on manufacturers I think is going to help him, with the union workers, the Reagan Democrats. And I think Santorum understands that demographic better than anybody. I mean, Mitt Romney can get the CEOs, but Santorum has campaigned in the blue collar districts. And I would point out looking at the map today. Ohio, Iowa state we were just focusing on, Obama is down. And he is down big-time.

BECKEL: You know, let me just say about it.

GUILFOYLE: Real personable, though.

BECKEL: About Romney too is that, he does not have -- he has got a pretty firm base of support. If Newt goes on attacks him too hard, two things happen. You have to draw support off of your candidate or reinforce what you've got. And Newt is not the guy that is necessary a reinforcing mechanism. So, I'd be careful if I were him.

TANTAROS: Maybe Romney should extend the olive leaf.

BECKEL: I was told to take a tease and apologize to Wal-Mart. I wouldn't do it for a minute.

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