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Special Report

Bachmann, Palin Fuel Rumors

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," May 30, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH PALIN, R-ALASKA, FORMER GOVERNOR: It's not a publicity-seeking tour. It's about highlighting the great things about America. And the media can figure out where we're going, if they do their investigative work, or they're going to keep, kind of, as you put it, going crazy trying to figure out what we're doing here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHANNON BREAM, ANCHOR: All right, that is Sarah Palin, former Alaska governor today, on the bus that she is taking touring several historic sites today and it's sparking a lot of questions. Now before the break, we asked you who do you think would be the better presidential candidate, Michele Bachmann or Sarah Palin? You've weighed in, and here's what you say now, 54 percent of you are going with Bachmann, 46 percent say Sarah Palin.

Alright, so she kicked things off yesterday, she was part of Rolling Thunder yesterday in Washington, visited the National archives and some other spots today. Juan, what is she doing?

JUAN WILLIAMS, SENIOR EDITOR, THE HILL: Well, I don't think anybody is sure. I mean, it's incredible that people who are tapped in to her campaign including our own Greta Van Susteren, who's going to have the interview, have indicated that they don't know what she is doing.

Now when she was asked today, she says that, I believe the quote is "I'm kind of considering that," when she was asked if she is running for president. So she's keeping the book open. But as you know, she works here at Fox News, and Fox News typically when somebody's made it clear that they are running for president, severs the relationship. And what we've read is that Fox is not even had any consideration of severing that relationship. So she hasn't given any indication to Fox that she is, in fact running for president.

BREAM: So if she is not running, Charles, what is this about?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: I don't know. It's more eccentric than usual, this event. She says she is going around to highlight the foundation of the country. I don't want to be picky, but generally we say we say the founding of the country. I know I'm gonna get e-mailed on that but --

BREAM: Charles-dot-Krauthammer.

(CROSSTALK)

KRAUTHAMMER: Send it to my home. But does the country really need reminding about the constitution and the Gettysburg Concord, which is not in New Hampshire, it's in Massachusetts? I'm not sure what she is doing except to say -- I'm with Juan. If she is still here with Fox, she is not running. She is not running, what I think she is doing is to try to keep the brand vibrant during the next 18 months when all the attention will be to other candidates.

And she showed what she can do. At Rolling Thunder she came, she saw, she sucked all the oxygen out of the room. And there is nobody who can do that as she can. But as we saw in the poll, it looks as if she and Bachmann would be splitting this constituency that they have. And Bachmann, you know, this is an unscientific poll, but she clearly can represent that position and draw, as Palin does, equally well.

BREAM: Well, let's talk about her. Because she did come out on top. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. She now heads up the House Tea Party caucus, which has been a very important place for her to be. She was in New Hampshire today.

And Tucker, a lot of people think she has been more serious about actually laying some groundwork. And speculate that some reason that Sarah Palin is pulled in, because she sees what Michele Bachmann is accomplishing.

TUCKER CARLSON, EDITOR, THEDAILYCALLER.COM: That may be right. I personally think it's unknowable. We've sent a couple of reporters over to find out what is going on, it's very hard to get a call returned. And I don't think it's just us at The Daily Caller, I think that's the universal experience. My own view is the Palin operation isn't sure what it's doing and that's why it seems that way. I would just remind everyone though that it was, what, eight months, a year ago, that Palin was the frontrunner, or at least in that category. Anytime she is mentioned with Michele Bachmann she is diminished, she's in effect a boutique candidate at that point.

Will that change? Ya know, it could. But the truth is Bachmann is far more organized on the ground. She actually has people working in the states, she has employees. She is in the game of politics, she's a sitting U.S. member of Congress. And so, there's a vast difference. And in the end, if you are being honest about it, Palin is a very impressive person and charismatic and smart and all that, but Bachmann is just a lot more organized right now.

BREAM: And Juan, if they go head-to-head do they, as Charles mentioned, do they split the same constituency, will they attract the same people?

WILLIAMS: Well, we'll find out. I mean I think that's, they are Tea Party people. The Tea Party at the moment is somewhat, ya know, in recess if you will. It's just not as influential as it was in the last mid-terms but it still has power. Remember we're talking about the Republican primary in terms of grass root organizing, driving that base. Ya know when Sarah Palin goes from state to state on this, one nation bus tour she is calling local Republicans operatives and getting them to bring people out.

I think it's interesting this split between the social conservatives and sort of the the establishment conservatives. And clearly, you know people like George Will and even I think a lot of the people who supported George W. Bush, are not about the Sarah Palin at this moment. It's why Iowa's lacking for candidates. Becasue everyone's says well that's just a bunch of social conservatives.

KRAUTHAMMER: But you can say Bachmann slipped on Concord, not Palin. I didn't mean to imply otherwise. But Bachmann, I think, is the stronger and the more organized candidate for that constituency.

BREAM: Alright we shall see. Gentlemen, thank you very much. That's it for the panel, but stay tuned for an unusual Memorial Day hero who is not a veteran.