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Obama polling better than Romney in popularity

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," July 26, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: And in the "Impact Segment" tonight, President Obama's job approval rating hovers around the mid-40s in many polls but most folks still like him personally. A new "USA Today"/Gallup poll says in the likability category Mr. Obama scoring 60 percent while Mitt Romney just 30 percent. To be fair, the President is much better known than Governor Romney.

And joining us now from Manchester, New Hampshire, the former Governor of that state and current Romney supporter John Sununu. So does it surprise you that 60 percent of Americans like Barack Obama?

JOHN SUNUNU (R), FORMER NEW HAMPSHIRE GOVERNOR: Well, he -- he started out with a high rating and he's maintained it. But he's had a really rough couple of weeks here. And I think you're going to see that begin to change. His you built -- "you didn't build it" moment I think is really resonating around the country. And I know he's trying to walk away from it saying it's out of context but when you look at the context the context is worse. And even worse than the context is the tone and the -- and the really arrogant and insulting way he's addressing people who have had success.

O'REILLY: But the way I see this is George W. Bush said almost the same thing that the people liked Bush the younger, even when his policies on Iraq and the economy were going south. They still separated his job performance from the man.

And it seems like they are doing the same thing with Barack Obama. You know, he comes across as very accessible and kind of a -- certainly not an intimidating man. He keeps his composure almost always.

So while you're saying yes, that his policy and his view of what American capitalism should be -- and I agree with that I think he made an enormous mistake saying that you know entrepreneurs really weren't responsible for their own success. I think that the folks are separating the policy from the guy. Do you disagree?

SUNUNU: Well, they always do -- they always do that to the President. As you said, George Bush had high ratings until the last maybe five or six weeks. And I think that's happening to the President. And as he tries to walk away from what he just said, I think he's going to hurt himself even more.

And you know he's saying he didn't mean what he said. But the fact is that's consistent with what you would get out of a community organizer handbook. It's his communal way of thinking about these things and it's reflected in -- in just about everything he's done for the last few years. That's going to hurt -- that's going to hurt his popularity.

O'REILLY: Maybe his personal popularity. I'm not sure whether it will but it might.

What about Mitt Romney at 30 percent likability? I know the Governor for a long time. He's a nice guy. I never saw him even when he was getting pounded in the primaries, I mean, it got a little nasty, but he was always fairly composed. When he ran Massachusetts, you know he didn't do anything outrageous, he's not like me or you obnoxious guys.

SUNUNU: Which one of us gets the prize?

O'REILLY: Well you know, look you and me we're what they call hot personalities.

SUNUNU: Yes.

O'REILLY: You know we kind of get riled up and we call it way it is or the way we see it but Romney is more of a political kind of placid guy. And only 30 percent likability, that surprised me.

SUNUNU: Look, he's a very disciplined guy. And -- and -- and in large settings that -- that doesn't come across as warm. But you get Governor Romney in with a bunch of about 30 people and -- and he really is extremely likeable. A warm guy, funny guy, smart guy; a guy who knows how to take tough decisions. A guy with a backbone that can make the tough decisions this country needs. And frankly the country --

(CROSSTALK)

O'REILLY: What does he have to do, what does he -- does he have to sing an Al Greene song, too to get people to like him better? What does he -- what does he have to do? You're an advisor of his.

SUNUNU: Yes --

O'REILLY: You don't want to get into the election with a 30 percent likability. You want to get that up. Is there something he can do? Can he roller skate? Play miniature golf? Is there anything?

SUNUNU: Just let the people see him. You know all --

O'REILLY: But they see him in a speed boat that cost $300,000. I don't think that's the right way to go. Maybe he gets a kayak.

SUNUNU: Look Bill -- Bill look, half the country hasn't seen Mitt Romney even in a political situation. They ignore -- you know, half the country ignored the primaries. This election really starts a couple of weeks before the -- the national conventions. And in those two and a half months, Mitt Romney knows he is going to have to communicate his personality and his policies. 2008 was an election of style over substance.

I think we're in big enough trouble with over eight percent unemployment and the 24 million folks that are suffering either unemployed or under employed. And -- and that I think --

(CROSSTALK)

O'REILLY: That's a good point. I mean, right --

SUNUNU: -- I think is going to be the substance.

O'REILLY: Absolutely.

SUNUNU: This is going to be a substance election.

O'REILLY: I mean, right -- absolutely I agree. I agree but I must say that I have known Governor Romney and I saw him one time at Fenway Park in Boston. And he was -- he was a really humble guy. And this -- it wasn't an act. And that's why I'm surprised that -- that most people haven't caught on yet.

SUNUNU: No, no this is -- this is a guy I'm very happy to call my friend and enjoy being with him.

O'REILLY: I think they're both good guys. Because President Obama did me; he was very, very polite to me and my daughter. I think they are both good guys. And I have to say that, that's my honest opinion.

SUNUNU: Most public officials -- most public officials as -- as people on a person-to-person basis are very, very warm and friendly.

O'REILLY: Oh I don't know about that, Governor. We may be going over the cliff but these two guys they're ok.

SUNUNU: No, no, no. Bill nobody -- nobody -- 95 percent of them fall on that category.

O'REILLY: Oh yes I know they do.

All right, Governor, thanks very much.

SUNUNU: Especially you and me.

O'REILLY: Yes, yes.

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