The Veepstakes: How important is Romney's choice?

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," July 13, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: There are 116 days left until Election Day and as we continue the countdown, word is that we are nearing an announcement on Governor Romney's running mate.

So how important is his choice going to be in terms of swaying voters at the ballot box? All right, I'm going to go through everybody really quick here. Billy Cunningham, God bless you. Great American, sir, I want a full report. Who do you think it will be? Who should it be?

BILL CUNNINGHAM, TV AND RADIO HOST: I hope in a sense it's Marco Rubio because he brings Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and lots of help with Colorado. I've known Rob Portman for 25 years. He's Mr. Smith goes to Washington, but if Romney needs Portman to win Ohio he is not going to win the election anyway so I would say Marco Rubio.

DENEEN BORELLI, "BLACKLASH" AUTHOR: I agree, Rubio. I think he could deliver Florida. He could rally and appeal to the Hispanics and the Tea Party individuals. I think he could bring a whole package for Romney where he's lacking in those areas.

EVAN BAYH, FORMER INDIANA SENATOR: If the Romney campaign feels fairly confident that things are going well they'll play it safe and they'll choose a Rob Portman or Tim Pawlenty. If they're a little worried about how things are going, I think they'll throw the long ball and go with Condee Rice. In fact, I think that would probably be a compelling choice.

HANNITY: That was on the "Drudge Report" last night. A lot of people have been reacting to that all day.

LORI ROTHMAN, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK: Yes, I agree. Condee Rice I think would be a compelling choice. I do think that Rubio might be too young and his aspirations may be a little further out at this point.

HANNITY: OK, so who would be the best choice?

ROTHMAN: Condee, yes.

JENNIFER STEFANO, AMERICANS FOR PROSPERITY: Look, I would say that Mitt Romney should use the advice to pick a mate that my father gave me about dating and picking a mate. No flash and dash, meat and potatoes, we don't need drama. We don't need a rock star. We need a grandma or a grandpa.

HANNITY: Who will he pick? Who should he pick?

STEFANO: I will say -- I don't give out names. I will say he should pick someone with no drama. I'm Italian, I don't give up names. I'm not Jennifer the canary. No, I really think it has to be somebody -- look, we have a lot of drama, we are at each other's throats.

HANNITY: I want names. Ed Rollins, give me a name.

ED ROLLINS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Condee Rice would be a disaster. I think basically she's never been tested in the political. We have no idea where she stands on domestic issue. She was decent secretary of state, but all of that will be dragged forth. I think Marco Rubio is a double force. He can help us win Florida. We lost Florida by 200,000 votes. He basically gives us a great future candidate.

HANNITY: Will it be him?

ROLLINS: I don't know. I think it should be, but I don't know.

JULIE ROGINSKY, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I think this is a first do no harm situation. I agree with you on that. And I think at the end of the day, Condee Rice will drag up all the Bush administration stuff that they don't want to drag up. So she'd be a disaster. I disagree with my friends in the front here. I think Rob Portman because he is do no harm. Because he's absolutely --

HANNITY: Could he also play that traditional role of going on the attack?

ROGINSKY: I don't know. That is a very good question because you do need somebody, but then you have Chris Christie who is very capable of going on the attack, but I think too flashy.

HANNITY: I think he would be really good actually.

ROGINSKY: He would be very good at going in the attack, but too flashy and too risky. You have to go with the safe choice.

MAX PAPPAS, FREEDOMWORKS: One element out there that is going to be pretty important, where the Ron Paul guys going to go. Romney needs the Ron Paul guys if he's going to win.

HANNITY: Who will it be? Who should it be?

PAPPAS: So does he bring in Rand Paul, probably not. I think that would excite a lot of people. He may go with toast, maybe Portman.

DAVID WEBB, SIRIUS XM PATRIOT HOST: First of all, Ron Paul is not a factor there. That's an outlier when it comes --

HANNITY: We're running out of time. I want to get these guys in the back.

WEBB: I wish he would resign to get General Petraeus. I think he'd probably go with Rubio. I think Condee is -- if he picked because some of the old Bush administration tactics, but she is qualified.

HANNITY: Will and should.

KERRY PICKET, THE WASHINGTON TIMES: I think he'll probably go for Pawlenty. I think he should go for Rubio and extra if he wins, would like to see Giuliani for AG.

CHARLES GASPARINO, FOX BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: He will go for Portman because he's played it safe the entire way. He should go for Rubio for all the reasons stated.

HANNITY: Jacques.

JACQUES DEGRAFF, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I think he'll go with Pawlenty and I think Rubio was make believe.

JAMES TARANTO, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: I go to Portman on the theory I think there is appetite for confidence and solidity as opposed to drama. We've had enough of that for the past four years.

HANNITY: What is Rubio's drama?

TARANTO: Rubio, he is young and somewhat untested. There are some questions I think about --

HANNITY: He has more experience than Obama?

TARANTO: OK, that is low standard.

HANNITY: Well said, Jedediah.

JEDEDIAH BILA, AUTHOR AND COLUMNIST: I have three picks, Rubio, Alan West or Paul Ryan. I don't think he will go there, but I --

HANNITY: Who do you think it will be?

BILA: I think it will be a Portman or a Pawlenty or someone safe, which is not what he should do.

JOHNSON: You know, normally I don't think the vice presidential pick actually matters. I think the people mostly vote top of the ticket. My concern for Romney if I had concern would be that he still feels very undefined for independent voters.

So this pick really will need to define him. Unfortunately, I don't feel like Portman does that. I feel like he will need someone given some a little flash. He may need somebody like Rubio.

HANNITY: Somebody that makes a lot of gaffes like Joe Biden.

JASON RILEY, "THE WALL STREET JOURNAL": : I like Rubio. He won't hurt the ticket. He may help with the swing states and maybe with Hispanic voters.

HANNITY: I want Marco, that is my choice. I think he would add the most to the ticket. I tend to agree with Charles. He may play it a little safer. Who do you think?

LUNTZ: Marco Rubio is the best communicator that the Republican Party has. Paul Ryan is the smartest intellect that the GOP has. And I think that in the end, Rob Portman because he does bring Ohio, he's the best choice for Romney right now knowing that Ryan and Rubio will someday be president of the United States.

HANNITY: Last question for everybody, show of hands. How many of you think Mitt Romney will be the next president? How many think Barack Obama gets re-elected? Wow, you scare me. So do you.

All right, interesting. Great group tonight. Frank Luntz, thank you so much as always we love having you. Thank all of you, some of the best and brightest minds in the country. We appreciate it.

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