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Krauthammer: Romney needs to 'unleash Paul Ryan'

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," August 14, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, FOX NEWS HOST: Now for the "Top Story" tonight: What about Florida with this 29 electoral votes? Two recent polls say different things. Quinnipiac has President Obama at 51 percent; Mitt Romney 45. But a PPP survey puts the President at 48, Mitt Romney 47, a virtual tie.

Joining us now from Washington, Fox News analyst Charles Krauthammer.

So, tell me who is going to win in Florida, Charles.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: If I knew, I would be rich and I wouldn't be here. I would be in the Caribbean on my yacht. Look, I think it's very true that Ryan is a risk. But I think he's got a real upside. The risk is obviously that the Democrats will succeed in defining him as some wild-eyed extremist by saying to seniors in Florida he'll abolish Medicare or who'll toss granny in the snow.

Now, it seems to me that is so factually false because the Ryan plan and the Romney plan do nothing, do not effect whatsoever anyone, not over - - not only over the age of 65, but over the age of 55, that as long as you can drill in that one fact, you have deflected that entire line of attack.

The other way to deflect it, other than the facts is to bring out Paul Ryan. Paul Ryan, you can demonize him as extremist. Most Americans, the overwhelming majority never heard of him, until Saturday. You bring out the guy. He is extremely affable, he's not threatening, he's very sensible. He's young-looking. He's an attractive guy.

It's like Reagan in that first debate with Carter. That only debate with Carter where you know he'd been demonized as an extremist. And the polls, people forget the polls were very close -- Carter and Reagan. After the debate where he said to Carter there you go again. Showed himself not to have horns. The election was over. It became a landslide.

Now, Ryan does not have Reagan's charm. But he's not threatening and he's very smart. I think the one thing Romney has got to do right now, unleash Paul Ryan. Let him go on every interview show, national show in the country.

(CROSSTALK)

O'REILLY: Yes but there is a caveat to that and it comes at the end of this program when I'll analyze Brit Hume and Paul Ryan's conversation today. The first solo interview by the way that -- that Ryan has given since he had been named the candidate. Ryan -- Ryan is making a fundamental mistake right now. But I want to keep that until the end of the program.

Now, Florida is a key state for Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney almost has to win Florida. So the Democratic machine and Dan Rather represents that. Says "hey, this is a break for Barack Obama" because it puts Florida with its tremendous senior citizen electorate. It puts it almost in the Obama camp right now. Right now.

So it's kind of -- if he had named Marco Rubio, for example, that would have put Florida in the Romney camp. But Ryan puts Florida in the Obama camp. Correct?

KRAUTHAMMER: It doesn't put him in the camp. It means that the next two weeks before the convention the fate of the Florida vote I think will be decided. If the Democrats succeed in spreading this clear and plain falsehood that the Ryan plan will affect seniors today. They will carry Florida.

If they do not succeed in drilling in that falsehood and I think, again, unleashing Ryan will do that, then I think it can very easily go to Romney. But don't forget -- yes it might initially have put more pressure on Florida for Romney.

On the other hand, what Ryan brings to the ticket is a Midwest appeal. And we saw in the last couple of weeks the Midwestern states the ones Obama -- of the ones Romney needs to win, Ohio, leading all the way up to Wisconsin which he doesn't have to win but is now in play, those were drifting away from Romney. And Ryan's regional effect is going to be the strongest in that region.

O'REILLY: Yes he has to get Michigan and to offset Florida if he loses.

You said something very astute which shocked me. When you said people don't know who he is. Americans, they don't know who Mitt Romney is I'll submit to you that the majority of Americans, they know Romney's name. And they might be able to put the face with the name. They don't know anything about him. And they certainly don't know about Congressman Paul Ryan.

So then what -- what happens is, that the Republican Party has got to get them known. We assume not many people will watch the conventions. You've got football starting up. You've got all kinds of things going on. How do they get them known outside of the three debates and the one vice presidential debate? How -- can the PACs do that with their overwhelming money? Can they get them known?

KRAUTHAMMER: Well, I think that people do watch the big speech in the conventions. They may not watch Obama. They surely know who he is. They have been there, they've done that.

But people are curious. You know they are going to choose for the presidency. They will watch. They will watch the Romney speech. They will watch the Ryan speech. They might even watch the keynote address by Chris Christie.

I mean think of how Obama's career was launched. He gave the Tuesday night keynote address eight years ago. That launched him to become the figure he was and eventually president. People do watch that, that's a -- a moment.

But between now and then is when impressions are going to begin to be formed. And there is a barrage of Democratic money being spent on these false ads.

(CROSSTALK)

O'REILLY: Sure -- running him down.

KRAUTHAMMER: And the Republicans have to counter them with ads but most important put Romney on the -- put -- put Ryan on the tube. He is very affable. You show that clip of him in the meeting Obama called in Blair House when he was working on Obamacare.

O'REILLY: Yes.

KRAUTHAMMER: He brought in all the Congressman. Republican and Democratic and -- and in that conversation, Ryan had the best of Obama. He had him reeling. Obama as the chairman, had to deflect all the attacks by Ryan into the hands of softer Democrats.

O'REILLY: Now I got it. And we'll have, well, we'll show everybody that clip in totality in "Body Language" coming up.

All right, Charles. thanks very much as always. We appreciate it.

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