Isn't the era of Big Government over?

Lessons from Day 1 of the DNC


This is a rush transcript from "The Five," September 5, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: So the message from opening night -- government rules. It was a salute to Santa Claus, now divorced from the North Pole and all the elves who built it, which is fine if America wasn't suffocating under the weight of all those presents.

No surprise the private sector was absent, makes sense. President Obama believes everyone should benefit from capitalism, except the capitalists. Maybe that's why the DNC is calling Bill Clinton. Perhaps he knows big government does not have all the answers.


FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: We know big government does not have all the answers. We know there is not a program for every problem.


We know and we have worked to give the American people a smaller, less bureaucratic government in Washington. And we have to give the American people one that lives within its means.


The era of big government is over.



GUTFELD: So President Obama has problem with married women and he is bringing in Bill? Doesn't he remember the thing back then -- anyway. The bigger question: how far have the Dems reversed that course?

Check out last night's host video.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are committed to all people. We do believe you can use government in a good way. Government is the only thing we all belong to. We're in different churches, different clubs, but we're together as part of our city or our county or our state, and our nation.


GUTFELD: The government is the only thing we all belong to? Scary thought that nails the cult of big government. To quote Heidi Klum, you're either in or you're out.

Which is why the DNC disowned, belonging to government is worse than being a member of Jeremiah Wright's church. But as the government grows so does its desire to preserve its expanding girth. So you either pile on and get your goodies or risked getting crushed underneath.

Forget the fat kids. Here's where size really matters.

So, Bob, that video, the Obama campaign disavowed it. They said it was from the host committee of city of Charlotte. Why deny that ideology? I love small government I'm not ashamed of saying it. Why should the DNC say they're right, we are for government?

BOB BECKEL, CO-HOST: I mean, first of all, let's remember that there's a document that says it's government by, for, and of people. And I think that's -- we forget that when we dump on government, that the Founding Fathers said that we are the government. And that's why we are a unique country.

So, but the fact is, that in all these things, the control of conventions down to the very last nail in platform is in the hands of the Obama campaign. And somehow they made that decision to let that go forward.

GUTFELD: Eric, they say government, we say country.

BOB BOLLING, CO-HOST: Yes. Bob, so what you're trying to say is the Obama administration was OK with that ad saying the only thing we all belong to is the government? Because that would be really bad. I want to spend the whole day listening to everyone, from Deval Patrick, to DNC, to the campaign, everyone down the line saying we had nothing to do with that ad.

I actually saw Clyburn an hour ago say I don't even know what you're talking about, which is complete B.S. But hold on, let me just say -- there was really important news that came out today. The DNC decided to move the venue that President Obama is going to speak at Thursday night from the outdoor, 80,000 plus. It's not 60,000, like they are trying to tell us. It's 80,000 seat stadium -- 75,000 plus a few more on the floor, into a 20,000-seat stadium.

Now, there are a couple reasons that could be happening. Number one, I was going to say as joke maybe because they took out and worried about -- not that. But 60,000 people. They have to fill 60,000 seats. Maybe they weren't able to do that.

Or Bank of America stadium, that stadium, that Panther stadium, big old sign there, $45 billion taxpayer dollars went in to Bank of America and they just laid out 30,000 people in May. They're outsourcing those jobs to Philippines.

Do you think they want the president underneath the Bank of the America sign?

BECKEL: I think more than latter than the former. I mean, good advance people are going to fill those seats if they really want to --

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: Or it could be it was forecast for lightning. OK. And lightning rarely strikes twice. Lightning already struck in 2008, unlikely to strike at the DNC convention again.

Can I go back to the question you asked, Eric, that he ignored?


PERINO: The government doesn't make us great. What makes us great is that we hold our government accountable.

I think one of the reasons that the Obama campaign put out a statement disavowing it before ad had been aired, before it finished airing is that they are so in the depth with independent voters that kind of language is exactly what they don't need coming out of this.

They might have had good speeches but I don't think they haven't had a good convention. It's been stumble after stumble. And for a campaign that is so controlled, it's kind of surprising to see them this disorganized.

GUTFELD: That's why Clinton is coming here, K.G. You know Bill Clinton well. Some say too well.

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE, CO-HOST: Well, it depends on your opinion.

GUTFELD: Yes. They are expecting the Clinton magic. What is he supposed to do? What is he supposed to bring?

GUILFOYLE: He is a great public speaker. He'd better bring the mojo because the ship is sinking fast. Do something -- Bob, it's true. Other than Michelle's speech last night, which we will talk about later, Clinton has to come in there and tie it up, because right now, its got like has 76 bleeders and the bodies on the table and somebody is going close them up.

BECKEL: These are small you're talking about. I've been to 12 conventions --


GUILFOYLE: It's enough to --

BECKEL: -- best opening night I have ever seen in a convention bar none.

GUILFOYLE: What about the message, Bob?


PERINO: The speeches were great. But the other stuff, like the lead up to it, stumbles on the platform --

GUILFOYLE: All over the place.

PERINO: It's something, the unforced errors.

GUTFELD: And they have the Black Eyed Peas. They actually played the Black Eyed Peas. That was a mistake.


BOLLING: The thing that you're not mentioning, Bob, is the long list of fact checking errors from last night. They threw a lot of things out there. Frankly, a lot more B.S. A lot of them -- I have a whole list of them. We can get to it if you want.

BECKEL: Well, we could. Bring out the Paul Ryan one. I mean, why do we want --

BOLLING: I have five from Julian Castro alone.

BECKEL: Who gave, by the way, a terrific speech.

BOLLING: Terrific filled of lies, terrific filled of B.S.

BECKEL: I couldn't call them lies. It didn't call Paul Ryan's lies.

GUTFELD: You did.


PERINO: You said yesterday he admitted it but that's not what Paul Ryan said. He said look at my words. We don't have to talk about that.

That wasn't what he said.

GUTFELD: You know, the thing about Julio Castro, it's not what he said but what he didn't say. How do you say it?

BOLLING: Julian.


PERINO: -- on the end.

GUTFELD: He talked about his mother but left out her greatest achievement, which was, you know, La Raza, which wanted to create a separate state within the United States. That's a heck of an achievement and he just glossed over that.

BECKEL: Listen, she did work very hard to put her daughter through school. I mean, went through college --

GUTFELD: That's grandmother. I'm talking about the mother.

PERINO: But starting La Raza is a big deal.

GUTFELD: Yes, it's a big deal. It's just radical socialist front that try to create a separate state, right?

BECKEL: No, it's really not. It's not. Mainstream Hispanic --

GUTFELD: It's maybe mainstream now. But back then it was as mainstream as Jeremiah Wright.

BECKEL: I was fighting back then the Brown Panthers, which was a real radical group.

But listen, there were unforced errors, I agree. But by and large I could haven't asked for a better opening convention night. I mean, but again, we talk about that. It was driven by the speeches. You can say that Castro made some mistakes, I can say that Ryan did.

BOLLING: Bob, he didn't make mistakes. He blatantly lied to people watching with five different separate occasions. One in taxes, one on jobs, one on Ryan's plan for Pell grants, and one on Ryan's plan for Medicare. Just blatantly lies.

Bill Clinton, can we talk about that? He's going to will probably attack Mitt Romney, right? What he is not going to tell you is that Bill Clinton oversaw the Community Reinvestment Act renewal. In other words, in 1995 or so, he said let's take a look at Community Reinvestment. Let's put more people in homes even if they can't afford it.

And this one -- partial repeal of Glass-Steagall, which separate banks from deposits from risky trading. He eliminated that wall. He put those two back together. Guess what happened? Financial collapse happened because of those two things. You can --

BECKEL: Oh, that's ridiculous. That was with such huge bipartisan support for the community. That was overwhelmingly Democrats and Republicans vote for it.

GUILFOYLE: That isn't the same Democratic Party that Clinton was in charge of. You get that. He was far more centrist. He knew when to be bipartisan and work together.

There's a lot of inconsistency in the messaging. And even back in 1996, when Clinton said the era of big government is over. But all we heard last night in the montage, this MTV moment, was government the s the only way we will save you. Jump into our big umbrella and we'll cradle you in our arms and drop you on your head.

PERINO: I don't think it's -- if everything was going great for the Obama administration, I don't think they would have had Bill Clinton in primetime spot. Going to independent voters and working class voters, he appeals to them or he had. But I don't know of anybody who is longing for good old days of the Clinton administration.

BECKEL: Oh, I think they're longing for the Clinton economic days.

PERINO: I don't -- actually, there is -- I read a lot about this in the past few days. There is not a single economist who thinks that raising taxes in the middle of a recession is a good idea, including President Obama. Which is why his -- the sale he has to make on Thursday is perplexing to me. How they are going to put the speech together, because people want to look toward the future. Elections are about the future.

This is -- we're all -- their opinion, their hope on the speech by the former president?

BECKEL: Who's going to say I raised taxes in a recession and had the greatest eight years in history.

GUILFOYLE: That didn't look like leadership when you have to go back to Bill Clinton who is a natural nemesis and not an ally.

BECKEL: Everybody goes back to somebody.

PERINO: The surpluses they talk about, he's like the guy who tells you, hey, there is $200,000 in the account. You go and you cash the check and it bounces. Sorry, not there anymore.

BECKEL: Are you denying there are surpluses?

PERINO: The surpluses were not there on paper. On paper, they were not.


GUTFELD: You have blown Bob's mind.

BECKEL: I simply waiting to hold back on that because I'm shocked.

GUTFELD: We've got to move on.

PERINO: The CBO said it last week in their report.


PERINO: I read that stuff actually.

GUTFELD: You do? Good for you.

PERINO: Thank you.

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