Media Playing Favorites in GOP Race?

ABC News' Jake Tapper names names


This is a rush transcript from "The Five," January 6, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE, CO-HOST: Oh, yes, Bob singing on the side here.

Well, we have said it here time and time again -- look at that face, just adorable -- the mainstream media is in love with Obama. But what about on the GOP side? Do they have a favorite candidate? Well, ABC News' Jake Tapper told Imus that he thinks it's Mitt Romney.

Brian, do you agree with this statement?

BRIAN KILMEADE, GUEST CO-HOST: Well, he went on to say he represents the least horrible alternative. So in terms of the left wing media, I don't even know if they weighed in on this. I don't know where the question comes from because they're not in game.

GUILFOYLE: No one knows.

KILMEADE: They're not in the game.

But there is something out there pushing Mitt Romney forward. There is an invisible force that keeps him afloat. I grew up on a Lake

(INAUDIBLE) and it's called a bobben (ph) when you fish and it keeps --


KILMEADE: Romney stays up and that's why the ABC guy --

GUILFOYLE: Interesting analogy. Thank you for that.

KILMEADE: Decides to say OK I guess the left wing likes them.

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: I think least horrible is actually what they mean. It's not that anyone in the media ever -- they really don't talk about their political views. And they might hold some and they might decide how they will vote.

We know from the surveys they tend to lean left. But it was not like do you like Mitt Romney? If you had to choose, all the knuckleheads, which one would be the least objectionable to you? That is how --

GUILFOYLE: You just used the Dana decoder.


GUILFOYLE: Back by popular demand.

Mr. Bolling, tell us about your childhood and how you grew up, please.

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: Can someone tell me who Jake Tapper is?

Kim, it doesn't matter what Tapper thinks. It matter what is Rove thinks. It matters what Ann Coulter thinks, which by the way she thinks Mitt Romney is the most conservative for many reasons I can't list. It matters what Krauthammer thinks. Those are the people who matter to me, especially being a GOP nominee process. It doesn't matter what Jake Tapper thinks.

GUILFOYLE: So, you don't care.


GUILFOYLE: But what about overall for the media? I mean, we all know they'd love Obama. But do you think they would actually love Mitt Romney because he is a Massachusetts moderate?

BOLLING: He's a Massachusetts moderate and they got the healthcare thing.

BOB BECKEL, CO-HOST: You sound like Marilyn Monroe at the John Kennedy's birthday party.

KILMEADE: It's true.

GUILFOYLE: Did that excite you?

BECKEL: So excited I can almost not talk.


BECKEL: You know, the one thing about these political reporters, I am convinced also there is a force that says (INAUDIBLE) this thing open in South Carolina. You know, they're up there reporting and they are not going to have anything to report if Romney wraps this up. So, there is a little counterbalance to this.

The other thing about -- when you talk about what really matters, is we (INAUDIBLE) in South Carolina, I think Romney has got a real problem with the Mormonism problem in South Carolina. It's going to be more pronounced.

And you watch over the weekend, from the pulpit on Sunday. South Carolina, it matters a lot what those people say.

KILMEADE: How come he is winning?

BECKEL: Well, in South Carolina, he is not winning by much. That's the point. I mean, the poll in South Carolina is 31 percent for Romney, 24 for Santorum and 24 for Gingrich. Now that's a pretty close race.

PERINO: Winning by default.

BECKEL: Yes. Well, but I'm just saying -- what I'm saying, one of the two will collapse -- Santorum or Gingrich, right?


BECKEL: There will be an automatic coalescing of the right around somebody. They are going to, that person is going to pick up a lot of votes. I don't think Romney has got more than a third in South Carolina.

GUILFOYLE: If there hasn't been damage done in the interim by the infighting but we shall see. But I got something for Ms. Perino. But I would like first to take a listen to Ed Henry.


ED HENRY, FOX NEWS CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: What about hope and change? I thought there was an expectation the president said that if he got elected, maybe it wouldn't be sitting around campfire but the situation would improve as he just given --

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president's promise was not just to change atmospherics, but to change the way Washington did business, and to change it by working together, collaboratively with Congress, and others in Washington, to get people here to focus on challenges that they ignored for too long. That we ignored for too long. And that included the need for Wall Street reform, the need for healthcare reform.


GUILFOYLE: Interesting comments. I can't tell you. But if you tickle me, I might.

OK, Dana?

PERINO: When Bob says the reporters don't necessarily want this over in South Carolina because they need something to talk about. That's also true for somebody at the White House. If you are in that position as press secretary, because all of those reporters there are talking about the 2012 election. You as the president's press secretary aren't really supposed to talk about the election so much. You're supposed to push that over to the campaign and focus on the business at hand.

But it's really hard to do that unless you're disciplined to say I'm not doing that. Call the campaign. Next question.

But it's hard to do in the briefing room.

BECKEL: I'm not trying to suck up here because I love her so much. But if I were this current press secretary, I would take out some tapes of Tony Snow and Dana Perino and take a look at them and realize what it means to have a short answer.

Dana didn't want to say this, because she said it in the break. She said the longest answer -- it was too long.

PERINO: It was long.

GUILFOYLE: It is too long. Comment here, Brian.

KILMEADE: Can I talk about the message?


KILMEADE: The message, Bob, I want your take on this. Is there a problem with on Sunday the president's strategy for re-election comes out? And he talks about turning up the attacks on Congress and the campaign.

Then the question from Ed Henry about hope and change. Oh, the president hasn't varied from that. Unless you didn't get Sunday's New York Times and --


KILMEADE: Right, and told them the strategy to get re-elected. You can't have hope and change and the same time say I'm not dealing with Congress for a complete year.

BECKEL: Look, I think the answer to that this is going to be whether you like it or not, it's going to be that I tried to do change and tried to change the atmospherics, they wouldn't go along. They decided they'd rather see me beaten rather than see the country move forward. And that's why I couldn't do it.

GUILFOYLE: All right. Well, there you go. Here's a little debate prep advice going in to the next couple of days, buy a copy of "You Are the Message," right? Figure it out, people. You may know the guy who wrote


KILMEADE: "You Are the Message," by Roger Ailes.

GUILFOYLE: That's correct, and get five bonus points. Exactly.

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